The holidays are a time where people get together with those they love.
And Alabamians are no exception: Folks will be driving across town, across the state and out of state over the coming days.
To help ensure the travels are safe, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is urging motorists to take it easy and be prepared before hitting road.
“The days leading up to Christmas through New Year’s Day are a wonderful time for celebration and happiness, as this is truly a season to cherish with friends and family,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “However, we all must remember the hazards associated with traveling during this busy time of year. Whether it is preparing your vehicle for long trips and changing weather conditions to being smart while driving defensively on short trips, we strongly encourage motorists to be aware and take full advantage of the tips within this safety message.
“This agency is devoted to saving lives and ensuring everyone travels safely and returns home safely.”
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to midnight Jan. 1, the Highway Patrol division will have safety checkpoints. The focus will be to make sure drivers are not operating vehicles under the influence, driving while distracted, not buckling up, speeding, or following too closely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver killed 937 people nationwide in December 2020. Speeding remains one of America’s most dangerous driving behaviors and was a contributing factor in 29 percent of all fatal crashes in 2020, the NHTSA said.
“Traveling over the posted speed limit and driving impaired continue to be leading contributing factors behind crashes during holiday travel periods,” Department of Public Safety Col. Jimmy Helms said. “Therefore, ALEA continues to stress the importance of following all traffic laws, but especially obeying all posted speed limits.
“ALEA also has a zero-tolerance policy for impaired drivers. They recommend using a designated driver but also encourage Alabama drivers to celebrate responsibly.”
The agency is running a 12 days of safety campaign starting today that will run into the new year. For information about this and other holiday safety tips you can visit the ALEA website here.
David Palmore is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News.