Troopers time could be better spent
Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2003
A few weeks ago the Mobile Press Register noted that a detail of about 20 Alabama State Troopers was in the Mobile area recently stopping and checking tractor trailer rigs to determine if they were overweight or in violation of other safety laws. The troopers are assigned to a different part of the state each week. That's great. Somebody needs to make sure those big rigs are safe.
But more recent articles note that state budget cuts call for the restriction of state troopers to four-day work weeks and 150 miles of driving per shift.
In other news, drunk driving deaths continue to increase in the state. Alcohol-related highway fatalities -- people killed in accidents where drivers had been drinking -- were up 10 percent from 2001 to 2002. The Birmingham News reported from statistics compiled by the National Traffic Safety Administration that 40 percent -- or 413 -- of Alabama highway deaths were alcohol-related last year.
Quoting from a recent Mobile Press Register article: "The sad fact is that during the most dangerous time -- 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sundays -- there will be no more than 11 state troopers on the road in the state of Alabama, covering only 27 of the 67 counties."
So, what presents the greatest danger to you? A tractor trailer driver or a drunk driver? Why are so many trooper man hours being used to inspect big rigs, while drunk drivers are free to roam the highways without fear of being caught? Somebody needs to get their priorities in order!