Police ready for holiday traffic

Published 7:37 pm Thursday, July 2, 2009

Last year, 16 motorists lost their lives on Alabama roads during the 78-hour Fourth of July holiday period.

This year state troopers are preparing for another high-traffic holiday weekend with extra troopers and initiatives.

“We are going to be using overtime grant money from [the Alabama Department of Transportation] and [the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs] to put more troopers on the road for longer periods,” said Cpl. Steve Jarrett with the Alabama Department of Public Safetey, said. “And we’ll be aggressively enforcing state laws.”

Jarrett said the state troopers will use laser speed enforcement, checkpoints and line patrol. Line patrol places troopers on heavily traveled roadways and at designated intervals to be highly visible to promote compliance with traffic laws and provide service to the public.

During the 2008 Fourth of July holiday period, troopers issued 4,100 speeding citations, 1,778 seat belt citations and 110 child restraint violations and also assisted 380 motorists with various issues.

Jarrett said troopers this year will not tolerate impaired drivers and safety restraint violators.

On the local level, Thorsby Chief of Police Rodney Barnett also voiced concern about impaired drivers.

“It will be important for everyone to be aware that there could be some drinking and driving with people they meet on the roadways,” Barnett said.

Barnett said he encourages commuters to have increased DUI awareness while on the road this weekend.

Barnett said officers will have zero tolerance this weekend, as with any time.

“If you’re going to drink, you really need to stay at home and not be behind the wheel of an automobile,” Barnett said.

Barnett will also have extra officers patrolling over the holiday weekend.