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MODOT Director in Springfield

MODOT Director Pete Rahn was in Springfield today. KSMU's Missy Shelton files this report. (KSMU's Emily Nash contributed to this story.)

The director of the Missouri Transportation Department, or MODOT was in Springfield today to talk about highway construction projects in the area.

Pete Rahn says the progress of these projects should be obvious to drivers.

In his annual address to lawmakers, Rahn warned that funding for projects like the ones in Springfield will soon run out. MODOT received an infusion of funds when voters approved amendment 3 in 2004. The amendment directed millions of dollars into MODOT's coffers.

Rahn says when those funds even out, the department will be stretched for cash and unable to maintain its current pace for repairing and building highways.

In addition to talking about the need for funding in the coming years, Rahn's discussing the need for primary enforcement of the seat belt law.

Right now, Missouri law requires drivers to buckle up but law enforcement officers can't pull over a driver exclusively for failing to wear a seat belt.

Rahn says primary enforcement will give drivers an extra incentive to buckle up.

The number of lawmakers opposed to primary enforcement of the seat belt law has dwindled in recent years. The black caucus had cited concerns about racial profiling but this year has dropped its opposition to the bill. The House Speaker says he may support the bill. But there are still opponents of the measure, mainly lawmakers from rural areas who say they don't want to give police more power to pull over drivers.