Troopers kick off Operation Safe Holidays

Published 10:26 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Alabama state troopers kicked off “Operation Safe Holidays” Friday to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities throughout the remainder of 2010 and to help ensure safe holiday travel into the new year, according to Col. F.A. Bingham, acting director of the Department of Public Safety.

Bingham said motorists can expect to see significantly greater numbers of troopers patrolling Alabama’s roadways, with approximately 175 additional troopers and Capitol Police officers bolstering enforcement efforts throughout the intensive safety campaign.

DPS is conducting the extended campaign, which runs Dec. 10 through Jan. 2, 2011, in partnership with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

State troopers will aggressively enforce traffic law, exercising zero tolerance for impaired driving and seat belt violations, said Bingham.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent traffic deaths,” he said, “and that means targeting the more than 40 percent of fatalities that involve alcohol and almost 65 percent that are unrestrained.”

Public Safety is employing an array of enforcement programs and techniques during “Operation Safe Holidays,” including DUI task force details, LIDAR, driver license checkpoints, line patrols, and “flying wheel” motorcycle details targeting high-fatality corridors.
Local troop commanders are using electronic crash reporting and citation data to identify “hot spots” statewide, and then formulating enforcement plans that address identified threats to traffic safety.

Bingham said troopers from every rank and all six divisions will be in uniform and on patrol throughout the campaign.
In addition, motorists can expect to see uniformed troopers patrolling in non-traditional, semi-marked vehicles, such as pickup trucks and SUVs. “Our goals are to prevent crashes and save lives,” said Bingham.

“We ask motorists to partner with us and take these actions: Buckle up, observe the speed limit, mind the road, not your phone; and if you’re going to drink, designate a sober driver.”

In 2006, trooper-worked fatalities reached their highest level since 1973.

Beginning with 2007, trooper-worked crashes, injuries and fatalities have declined for four successive years.