Motorists may have noticed improvements at intersections along US 63 at Route M in Atlanta, Route K at Cairo, Route B at Clark and at Hinton Road just north of Columbia.
Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said many cars were seen deliberately not stopping at the intersection at Atlanta during S.T.O.P. (Stop, Think, Observe, and Proceed) while utilizing the patrol's airplane.
"We have been planning these improvements for a while and had the resources available to move forward," said MoDOT Area Engineer Brian Haeffner. These improvements include adding signs, rumble strips and stop sign flashers. Work began on Route M at Atlanta last Thursday and improvements at all four intersections will be done by mid-December.
Even with increased safety precautions in place, motorists still need to be extra careful when approaching these intersections. "Most traffic crashes that occur at intersections are caused by motorists failing to stop at stop signs or signals, or failing to yield the right of way to on-coming traffic," said Sgt. Bernhardt. "The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages motorists to obey all traffic signs and signals, and only enter an intersection when safe to do so," he added.
Over the last four years, 66 crashes have occurred among these four intersections, resulting in six fatalities. Of those six, four involved occupants not wearing a seatbelt.
"Safety is a team effort between all of us," said Brian Haeffner, MoDOT area engineer. "We hope to reduce the number of accidents happening at intersections by installing upgrades, but by buckling up, motorists help decrease their chance of injury or death if involved in an accident," he added.
In addition to these improvements, MoDOT will conduct a road safety audit along the US 63 corridor from Columbia to the Iowa state line to determine where other improvements could be made to increase traffic safety. The safety audit is expected to be completed in November.