Think safety with holiday travel

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 1999

Alabama State Troopers are once again taking a grim look at the holiday season and are estimating that 14 people will lose their lives across the state during the 78-hour period that constitutes peak holiday travel time which will start between Dec. 23 and end Dec. 26.

Last year at this time, 16 people did lose their lives. Eleven of these were on rural roads and only five were in urban areas. Alcohol was involved in at least four of the deaths, and three lives could have been saved if they had been wearing seat belts.

Wearing a seat belt takes only a couple of seconds to remember, and it has been proven to save lives. And, starting in November, travelers on Alabama roadways can now be pulled over for not wearing one. Troopers pledge solid enforcement of this new law over the holiday season, and will be out in full force to deter drunken drivers, speeders and other hazardous drivers.

A run in with the law can really put a damper on the holiday spirit. We encourage all residents of Greenville and Butler County to buckle up when they get in their car, to remember not to drink and drive, and leave plenty of travel time scheduled to deal with unusually heavy traffic.

Arriving a grandma's house a few minutes late won't hurt, but dealing with a tragic accident can change the rest of one's life.