The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 4, 2013

Troopers step up traffic enforcement

From staff reports
The News Courier

— Expecting heavier-than-usual traffic this Fourth of July, Alabama state troopers have bolstered enforcement efforts to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on the state’s roadways.

The holiday travel period officially began at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 4, and will run through midnight Sunday, July 7, but troopers began their efforts Wednesday, according to Col. Hugh McCall, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the state’s highest-ranking trooper.

Troopers and their law enforcement partners from across the state will enforce all traffic laws, assist motorists and serve as visible reminders to drive safely. Enforcement plans include driver’s license and sobriety checkpoints, saturation and line patrols, and the operation of laser speed-detection devices from stationary vantage points.

McCall said troopers would concentrate on behaviors that frequently cause crashes: Speeding, making unsafe lane changes, following too closely and failing to yield right of way. They also will focus on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. 

“So far this year, troopers have investigated 250 traffic fatalities,” McCall said. “That number is down from this time last year — and troopers are working to keep it down with heightened trooper presence.”

McCall said everyone should buckle up no matter how short a trip.  In addition, motorists should avoid such distractions as texting and talking on cellphones while driving.

“Let’s work together, Alabama,” he said. “Let’s make a positive difference on our roadways and save lives.”