Troopers gearing up for holiday blitz

Published 1:18 pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

MONTGOMERY — Making every effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on Alabama’s roadways, state troopers will be out in full force as part of the Department of Public Safety’s Memorial Day weekend safety blitz.

“With heavier than usual traffic expected during this extended holiday weekend, we will aggressively enforce traffic laws,” said Col. Hugh B. McCall, Public Safety’s director. “Troopers will target such dangerous behavior as speeding, DUI, distracted driving and following too closely, all of which cause crashes and contribute to more severe crashes.”

In addition, troopers will engage in routine patrols and be available to assist motorists, McCall said. To help ensure safety, all available troopers will be in uniform and on Alabama’s roadways during this program.

The official Memorial Day holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at midnight Monday, May 28. Last year during the 78‐hour Memorial Day weekend, 10 people were killed in traffic crashes in the state. At least seven of the deaths were alcohol related, and seven crash victims who were vehicle occupants were not using safety restraints.

During this time, troopers also will continue to participate in the national Click It Or Ticket safety initiative, which runs through June 3 and is designed to promote the use of seat belts and child restraints and will be looking for motorists who are not buckled up. In Alabama, the seat belt law mandates that all front-seat occupants – regardless of age – be restrained.

The state’s child restraint law requires the following size‐appropriate restraint systems for children riding in front and back seats:

♦ Infant‐only seats and convertible seats used in the rear‐facing position for infants until at least 1 year of age or 20 pounds

♦ Convertible seats in the forward position or forward‐facing seats until the child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds

♦ Booster seats until the child is 6 years of age

♦ Seat belts until the child is 15 years of age

McCall said the expanded enforcement initiative is made possible by grant funding provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Law Enforcement/Traffic Safety Section. He cited ALDOT and ADECA as valuable partners in the state’s traffic safety efforts and thanked them for their ongoing support.