Troopers to increase holiday patrol

Published 3:27 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All available troopers will be on duty during the Fourth of July holiday travel period, enforcing traffic laws, assisting motorists and serving as visible reminders to drive safely. In addition to routine patrol operations, enforcement plans include license and sobriety checkpoints, saturation and line patrols, and operation of laser speed detection devices (LIDAR) from stationary vantage points.
According to Public Safety Director Col. Hugh B. McCall, troopers will pay close attention to those violations that frequently cause crashes — making unsafe lane changes, following too closely, failing to yield the right of way and speeding. These behaviors generally constitute “aggressive” driving when two or more are combined. Troopers will actively work to identify and apprehend drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs during the holiday travel period.
McCall cited the value of highly visible, intensive enforcement in reducing motor vehicle crashes, deaths and injuries. “With heightened trooper presence, we have increased safety on Alabama’s roadways. The number of crashes is down, and we are working hard to keep it that way,” he said.
DPS’s director said Alabama is committed to improving highway safety during the upcoming holiday. “Our goal as troopers is to save lives and safeguard all motorists on Alabama’s roadways,” he said.
Overtime grants administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Transportation will support increased patrols during the Fourth of July travel period.
McCall urges motorists to make safety a priority, adding that it is important to make sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up on every trip, no matter how far the drive.
The official Independence Day travel period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 1, and ends at midnight Monday, July 4. Public Safety, however, will extend this enforcement campaign to midnight Tuesday, July 5. During last year’s holiday travel period, there were 13 traffic fatalities – including seven vehicle occupants and two motorcyclists. Almost half of these fatal crashes involved alcohol; and of the seven vehicle occupants who could have been restrained, only one was wearing a seat belt.