Use safety when traveling this holiday season

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Motorists traveling to and from their holiday destinations should take steps to obey traffic laws.

Tuesday the Alabama Law Enforcement’s (ALEA) announced its Thanksgiving plan to schedule extra-duty patrols to ensure motorists safely make it to and from their holiday destinations.

Between 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, and midnight Sunday, Nov. 29, all available Alabama State Troopers will patrol the state’s roadways, enforcing traffic laws and assisting travelers. To further enhance enforcement efforts, ALEA will partner with local law enforcement across the state to create a highly visible presence.

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“We are committed to ensuring public safety and preventing crimes and traffic violations that lead to deaths and injuries,” Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier said. “We will not tolerate individuals who are driving under the influence, and Troopers will arrest the impaired drivers.”

During the 2014 Thanksgiving period, troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol Division investigated six traffic fatalities, including two individuals who were killed while riding an ATV. Of the other four individuals killed, only two were using seat belts at the time of the deadly crashes.

ALEA and its law enforcement partners rely on members of the public to help promote safety during the long holiday weekend. Collier said, “I urge you to adhere to the safety tips and safeguards below while using Alabama’s roadways and waterways during this season.”

• Use seat belts and child restraints in motor vehicles and life vests on the water – no matter how short the distance.

• Avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs).

• Restrict access and closely monitor teens to prevent underage use of alcoholic beverages.

• Pay attention to speed limits and driving conditions on the road, and obey boating laws on the water.

• Monitor traffic and weather reports prior to driving to your destination.

• Expect traffic delays as Thanksgiving traffic is heavier than usual, with traffic crashes, stalled vehicles and weather-related issues on roadways.

All available troopers will work additional shifts thanks to a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). Motorists who encounter problems while traveling may contact the nearest Highway Patrol Post by dialing *HP (*47) on their cell phones.