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Spring break safety tips

Published 4:33pm Friday, March 22, 2013

With spring break arriving next week for students from Chilton County, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is urging safety for those who might be traveling throughout the week.

Col. Hugh B. McCall, director of the Department of Public Safety and the state’s highest-ranking state trooper said in a press release that parents should be proactive for spring break.

“Take time to sit down with your young drivers to discuss safety before heading to the beach or other spring break destinations, especially if your teens will be traveling with friends,” McCall said in a release. “Remind them to buckle up, to focus on the road, to avoid distractions such as texting while driving and to obey speed limits and other traffic laws.”

McCall said parents with teen drivers should also review Alabama’s Graduated Driver License law, a three-stage licensing process that places certain restrictions on young drivers to ensure they acquire experience behind the wheel before driving without supervision or restrictions.

Stage one consists of a learner’s permit where a teen is authorized to drive when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, licensed driver age 21 or older who is occupying the front passenger seat.

Stage two consists of a teen age 16 or 17 who has passed the road skills test and may drive without supervision but must not have more than one passenger in the vehicle other than parents, legal guardians or family members. In this stage, drivers must not use handheld communication devices while driving, must not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver 21 or older with a parent or legal guardian’s consent.

Stage three consists of a teen age 17 who has held a Stage II license for six moths or longer and has obtained an unrestricted license. Anyone who is 18 or older may bypass the first two stages and obtain a Stage III license after passing the road skills test.

The State Law Enforcement Task Force officers will also be working together to create a highly visible law enforcement presence during spring break in an effort to prevent crimes and violations that lead to deaths and injuries.

All laws including traffic, boating and alcoholic beverage laws will be enforced throughout the spring break week.

Officers urge everyone to avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, buckle up no matter how short the trip, be mindful of construction zones on the roadways and make sure hotel stays are safe with establishments that are protected by smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems.

Fore more information visit http://dps.alabama.gov.

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