Troopers prepare for New Year’s weekend

Published 5:10 pm Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alabama State Troopers will be out in force during the New Year’s holiday traveling period. Between 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, and midnight Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, troopers will step up enforcement activity in an effort to protect the lives and safety of Alabama motorists.

“This is an exciting time of year, and we want you to really enjoy the holidays with your loved ones, but please make highway safety a priority,” said Col. Hugh B. McCall, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

Public Safety’s holiday safety initiative includes extra patrols, sobriety checkpoints, line patrols and LIDAR speed detection.  Troopers also will target other violations that often contribute to crashes, including speeding, following too closely, driver distraction and improper passing.

In addition, troopers will partner with law enforcement and traffic safety agencies throughout the state and nation to aggressively work to curtail impaired driving.

“If your holiday celebrations include alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver or make other arrangements to be sure you — and others on the road — get home safely,” McCall added.

This extra enforcement effort is made possible through grant funding provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Law Enforcement/Traffic Safety Section.

Last year, troopers and other law enforcement agencies from across the state investigated traffic crashes that resulted in the deaths of 14 people, including five pedestrians, during the 78-hour New Year’s travel period. At least four of those deaths involved alcohol, and at least five vehicle occupants were not using seat belts.