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ALEA: Stay safe while traveling this holiday season

ALEA said troopers will be patrolling roadways with additional shifts aimed at preventing traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) wants to make sure you get to your destination safely this holiday season.

“During the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday travel period, ALEA Troopers recorded nearly a 30 percent decrease in statewide traffic fatalities, which resulted in three fewer traffic-related deaths in 2020 as compared to 2019. Our Agency’s mission is to save lives, therefore, our goal this Thanksgiving holiday travel period is to ensure that trend continues. Our Highway Patrol Division has developed a very specific and deliberate holiday enforcement plan that targets those areas in which historically, we have documented an elevated number of crashes. This initiative includes proactive patrols utilizing a variety of enforcement techniques along our major thoroughfares, specifically Interstates 10, 65 and 85,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor.

 ALEA said troopers will be patrolling roadways with additional shifts aimed at preventing traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. The funding for these additional shifts is provided through grant funds from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“We are especially thankful this holiday for our Troopers and other law enforcement partners who will be sacrificing part of their holiday and time with loved ones to patrol Alabama roads and keep all of our citizens and visitors safe,” said Secretary Taylor. “On behalf of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful holiday season.” 

ALEA also provided the following safety tips for motorists traveling this holiday season:

  • On multi-lane roadways, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, but Alabama law also requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to only use the left lane for passing (when posted). Motorists can drive for a mile and half in the left lane before needing to move back over. 
  • Alabama’s seat belt/child restraint law requires ALL passengers – no matter how old or which seat they are occupying – to be buckled up. 
  • Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol. Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming alcohol and it is illegal for anyone to have an open bottle of alcohol in a vehicle.
  • Avoid driving distracted. Distractions include texting, utilizing a cell phone or smartphone, talking to passengers, watching videos, playing mobile games, adjusting the radio, navigation system or other devices. Distractions endanger drivers, passengers and bystander safety. Alabama law prohibits texting while driving as well as searching the Internet on a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. 
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges. 
  • Don’t drive fatigued – allow plenty of time to reach your destination. 
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions/closings in Alabama, visit www.alea.gov/weather-advisories. 
  • Stay alert when shopping and driving through crowded parking lots. Stay vigilant and park in well-lighted areas when shopping at night. Citizens should lock their vehicles and remove any valuables, including money or wallets from plain sight. Slow down in congested parking lots and stay alert for shoppers and pedestrians. 
  • Move over when approaching emergency or tow vehicles. Alabama’s Move Over Law requires motorists to move over or slow down to 15 mph or less than the posted speed limit if you are not able to change lanes.