Troopers set ‘holiday blitz’

Published 4:28 pm Monday, July 2, 2012

As motorists across Alabama celebrate the Fourth of July, Alabama State Troopers are preparing for heavier-than-usual traffic during the extended holiday period.

All available troopers will be on duty during the Fourth of July holiday safety blitz, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, and runs through midnight Sunday, July 8. They will enforce all traffic laws, assist motorists and serve 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.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety’s director, Col. Hugh B. McCall, said troopers will focus on those violations that frequently cause crashes including  speeding, making unsafe lane changes, following too closely and failing to yield right of way.   These behaviors generally constitute “aggressive” driving when two or more are combined.  Troopers also will actively work to identify and apprehend drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs during the holiday travel period.

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McCall cited the value of highly visible, intensive enforcement in promoting traffic safety.

“With heightened trooper presence, we are working to increase safety on Alabama’s roadways,” McCall said. “The number of trooper-investigated fatalities is down, and we are working to keep it that way. Our goal as troopers is to save lives, and we ask that the motoring public help us to ensure success.”

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 also urges motorists to make safety a priority, by buckling up and avoiding distractions while driving.  Texting and talking on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle can have deadly consequences.