Troopers on alert during holiday travel period
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Beefed up law enforcement presence will mean even stricter enforcement of traffic laws this holiday weekend.
Alabama state troopers are stepping up enforcement activities during the Labor Day holiday weekend, according to Department of Public Safety Director Col. W.M. Coppage. All available troopers will be on duty and participating in special enforcement such as line patrols and checkpoints.
"Deaths on Alabama's roadways are increasing this year at an alarming rate," Coppage said. "Alabama's state troopers are doing everything they can to save lives on highways, but we all have a stake in highway and traffic safety. That is why we ask that all motorists do their part, too." Troopers are also urging motorists to buckle up, obey speed limits, abide by traffic laws and drive sober.
"We also ask motorists to drive defensively and courteously, and to focus on safety throughout the holiday weekend," Coppage said.
Labor Day is the last major holiday of the warm-weather travel season, and it traditionally brings heavy traffic.
Troopers are partnering with other law enforcement officers throughout Alabama in a program called "You Drink and Drive. You Lose." The campaign aims at reducing alcohol-related traffic deaths by warning motorists about the dangers of impaired driving. The program also calls for the impaired drivers to be caught through patrols and checkpoints.
Coppage said troopers are on great alert for impaired drivers during the holidays.
"The slogan, 'You drink and drive. You Lose,' could not be truer. It's estimated that up to half of all traffic deaths are alcohol related. Such deaths are 100 percent preventable, if motorists choose to drive responsibly. The penalties for DUI are severe in Alabama, but the cost in lives lost and injuries suffered surpasses any fine or other penalty under the law."
The Department of Public Safety estimates that 15 people may die as the result of traffic crashes in Alabama during the 78-hour Labor Day holiday travel period beginning at 6 p.m. Sept. 3, and ending at midnight Sept. 6.
Last year eight traffic deaths occurred during the 78-hour period, five on rural roads and three in urban areas. At least three of the deaths were alcohol related, and six of the crash victims were not using safety restraints.