BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – Drivers can expect much more traffic on the road as they head into the holiday weekend. Especially in tourist towns like Branson.
As the city fills with visitors, drivers need to be alert, aware of their surroundings and prepare for any sudden stops along the way.
Over the 2021 Labor Day holiday in Missouri, 11 people died, and more than 450 suffered injuries in traffic crashes. Police in Branson and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers want to ensure you travel safely this year.
Branson’s Don Hays says patience is a virtue on weekends like this and encourages drivers to plan ahead.
”Know what you’re going to do before you do it and where you are going to go,” Hays said. “It takes some time to get around town with the traffic like this.”
Hays recommends drivers leave an hour early during the evenings. This will prevent speeding to your destination or the frustration that can come from long wait times on the strip.
”Road raging doesn’t help anything and it does happen a lot here,”said Hays. “Just give yourself some time you’ll make it there.“
”If you’re on 76 Country Boulevard, that middle lane is not for passing,” Branson Assistant Police Chief Eric Schmitt. “A lot of the time we have had on accidents or even broad side accidents because people aren’t expecting someone to be flying along that middle lane.”
Schmitt says to make sure you’re wearing your seatbelts and freeing yourself from any distractions. Many pedestrians will be visiting numerous shops and attractions throughout the city, so you need to be looking out for them. If you’re the one walking, watch out for drivers.
”Some of the sidewalks can get very easily congested and we’ve seen when people were just crossing the road and they have their head buried in their phone,” said Schmitt. “You want your head on a swivel whenever you’re around traffic.”
Labor Day weekend is also the end of the national ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign. If you do decide to drink make sure you have a designated driver.
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