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Troopers boost patrols for holiday weekend

Planning to travel over the July 4 weekend? Alabama State Troopers want to remind you to be careful.

Troopers will be out in full force from 6 p.m. Friday through midnight Monday, with all available troopers on duty for the holiday weekend. Routine patrols will be augmented by special enforcement details including line patrols, checkpoints and laser speed details.

Public Safety Director Col. J. Christopher Murphy urged motorists to exercise care, caution and patience while on the road. He said it is important for motorists to remain focused on the task of driving, and reminded drivers that even momentary distractions can lead to a crash. He also stressed the importance of buckling up on every trip.

“Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up and properly restrained,” Murphy said.

Murphy also reminded motorists that traffic laws and regulations are in place to help ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their passengers and all others who share the roadways. He said troopers would be especially watchful for those violations that often lead to traffic crashes, including drunken driving, speeding, illegal passing and following too closely.

Last year during the 78-hour July Fourth holiday travel period, five people, including one pedestrian and four vehicle occupants, lost their lives in traffic crashes in Alabama. A majority of those deaths – at least three – were alcohol-related, and three of the four vehicle occupants were not using safety restraints.

Murphy asked motorists to be especially alert to troopers and other law enforcement officers and first responders who will be working to ensure a safe holiday weekend. State law requires motorists to safely move over one lane, or to slow down when moving over isn’t possible, when passing emergency vehicles stopped roadside with emergency lights activated.