PARIS, Mo. -- Monroe County received a pat on the back recently for having zero highway fatalities in 2017.
The Northeast Coalition for Roadway Safety recognized the county's achievement during a ceremony at a Monroe County Commission meeting.
Marisa Christy-Kerns, a representative of the coalition, congratulated county officials for having zero deaths. During her presentation, she gave the county commissioners a sign reading, "On the Road to Zero," and she gave members of the audience Coke Zero drinks and Life Savers candy to celebrate the zero fatalities.
Some area counties didn't fare as well with their traffic safety records, according to Marisa Ellison of the Missouri Department of Transportation. Ellison serves as facilitator for the Northeast Coalition for Roadway Safety, which covers 17 counties in Northeast Missouri.
"We had three counties in Northeast Missouri who had zero road fatalities in 2017, yet our goal is to have zero fatalities on all roads not only in our area, but throughout the state," she said.
"This is just an opportunity to recognize the county and the partners of the coalition for their efforts and help bring awareness that they are making a difference in lives of those who travel Missouri roads."
Since the statewide Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety was formed in 2006, Missouri fatalities have been reduced from more than 1,200 in the first year to 947 in 2017.
Ellison said that's not good enough. "We need to continue to work toward zero," she said.
Other local safety partners on hand for the presentation were Aaron Vitt, superintendent of the Paris R-II School District; Paula Delaney with the Monroe County Health Department; Clay Joyner with the Monroe County Ambulance Service; Deputy Chief Joe Colston and Deputy Kyle Nichols with the Monroe County Sheriff's Department; and Samantha Diffenderfer with the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments.