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Agencies stress safety during holiday season

The Alabama Department of Transportation and state law enforcement agencies urge people to keep safety a priority during travels or other activities this holiday season.

The holiday travel period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, and will end at midnight Thursday, Jan. 2, according to an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency press release.

The release, which came from the ALEA, Department of Public Safety, Marine Police and Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, said state law enforcement officers will work to create a highly visible enforcement presence intended to prevent crimes and violations on Alabama roadways and waterways potentially leading to deaths and injuries.

The public should expect officers—even in unmarked vehicles—to make enforcement stops, the release said.

“State and local law enforcement agencies throughout Alabama are partnering together, and we ask that the citizens join us in taking precautions that will help ensure a safer holiday season for everyone,” Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier said.

Recommended safety precautions include:

•Avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

•Restrict access and closely monitor teens to prevent underage use of alcoholic beverages.

•Pay attention to speed limits and driving conditions on the road and obey boating laws on the water.

•Use seat belts and child restraints in motor vehicles, no matter how short the drive is.

•Use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in boats, particularly when alone, to stay afloat and offer protection against hypothermia.

•Boaters or hunters who plan to use a boat should leave a float plan that includes a description of the boat, where they plan to launch from, where they plan to go and what time to expect them back.

•Pedestrians should be extremely cautious when walking, jogging or running near roadways, especially when it is dark. Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing reflective clothing to help highlight body movements. Always stop and look left, right and left again before crossing a roadway.

In addition, Alabama State Troopers will be available to assist motorists and can be reached via cell phone at *HP (*47), which will direct motorists to the nearest Highway Patrol post.