Troopers prepare for long holiday weekend

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 2011 holiday travel period has begun and Alabama state troopers are hoping for a quiet weekend.

During the same time period in 2010, 12 people died on Alabama’s roadways and troopers estimate that alcohol was a factor in more than half of those fatalities.

Making every effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on roadways, troopers will be out in full force during the time period that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues through midnight Sunday as part of the Department of Public Safety’s holiday travel
safety campaign.

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During this 102-hour initiative, holiday travelers will see all available troopers on patrol and prepared to assist motorists.

Hugh McCall, director of Alabama Public Safety, said traffic could become heavy throughout the holiday weekend.

‘“We expect traffic to be heavier than usual during this year’s extended holiday period,” McCall said.”We will aggressively enforce traffic laws. Troopers will target such dangerous behavior as driving under the influence, speeding, distracted driving and following too closely. Not only can these driving behaviors cause crashes, but they can contribute to more severe crashes.”
According to Public Safety statistics from 2010, alcohol was a factor in seven of the 12 fatalities, and 10 of the 12 individuals killed were not wearing seat belts.
Motorists can help to ensure they arrive safely to their destinations by obeying all traffic laws, observing speed limits, buckling up and avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, McCall said.
“Our goal is to make a positive difference on our state’s highways,” McCall said.  “It’s about saving lives and preventing crashes.”