Missouri State troopers out every 20 miles

COLUMBIA, Mo. - If you're heading out for the holiday weekend, expect to see a big police presence along the highway.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be out every 20 miles on Interstate 70 and Highway 63 this weekend, starting Thursday.

Trooper Derek Sullivan said this 20 mile saturation is important to keep drivers safe.

"On holiday weekends, we see a huge increase in traffic flow.  Setting us 20 miles apart, we can ensure we're helping motorists and the coverage is there," Sullivan said.

ABC 17 News rode along with Trooper Sullivan from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.

During that time, he pulled over three cars and inspected an abandoned vehicle.

The violations he stopped drivers for included speeding and following too closely.

But in some cases, traffic stops were not even necessary.  Like one speedy driver who spotted the trooper car and slowed down before the officer reached him.

"Just my police presence corrected the problem and that's as good as writing a ticket," Sullivan said. "I'm ok with that.  He fixed the problem and that's what I want, now we can move on to the next violator."

But the troopers aren't just out to catch violators.

"Our job is more than just writing tickets like people think; it's helping people that need to be helped," Sullivan said.

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