MSHP: Plan A Safe July Fourth Holiday


Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds Missouri’s travelers to make smart choices for a safe July Fourth holiday. Whether planning to visit one of Missouri’s recreational opportunities or hosting a backyard barbecue, everyone should make safety part of their plans. No matter how you decide to celebrate, your smartest choice is to follow all Missouri traffic and boating laws.

During the 2023 counting period, 15 people were killed and 646 injured in Missouri over the holiday in 1,505 traffic crashes. Last year during the counting period, troopers arrested 125 people for driving while intoxicated. In 2023, there were 11 boating crashes, which included two injuries and no fatalities. One person drowned during last year's July Fourth holiday. Troopers made 10 boating while intoxicated arrests over last year’s July Fourth holiday weekend.

The 2024 July Fourth holiday counting period will be from 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2024, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2024.

All available troopers will be patrolling Missouri roadways and waterways to enforce traffic and boating laws and offering assistance as needed. The Highway Patrol will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) and Operation Dry Water over the July Fourth holiday. Operation Dry Water specifically targets impaired vessel operators.

Missouri’s boaters are asked to do their part by remaining alert for other boats and swimmers and being courteous on the water. Never operate a vessel if you’ve consumed alcohol. Boaters need to be aware that it is illegal to discharge fireworks from a vessel. Leave all fireworks in a safe place on shore. Remember to share the waterway, watch your wake, and use common sense, good judgment, and courtesy to ensure the safety of all. Life jackets save lives. Wear It!

Anyone needing assistance or who witnesses criminal activity while traveling on Missouri’s roadways or waterways can contact the nearest Highway Patrol troop headquarters by calling the Patrol Emergency Report Line at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. Motorists may call 1-888-275-6636 to check for road construction along their travel route.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is hiring! The Patrol offers over 60 career paths. For all current openings, visit or to apply for trooper or commercial vehicle officer positions, visit to apply today.