Alabama Highway Patrol Focused on Safety Over July 4th Weekend | Local News

Staff report

Despite recent record high gasoline prices, soldiers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Highway Patrol Division expect to see crowded roads again this July 4 holiday weekend, so that citizens and visitors from all over travel to various destinations to spend time with friends and family. .

“Beginning Memorial Day weekend 2022, our agency launched ‘101 Days of Summer Safety,'” said Hal Taylor, secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). “We are continuing this vital safety initiative throughout the 4th of July weekend and the rest of the summer, with a particular focus on impaired driving during this 4th of July weekend.”

Taylor said the FTA safety initiative along with the deliberate use of slogans such as “Stay alive, think before you drive” will hopefully catch the public’s attention and reiterate the importance of safe and responsible driving behavior.

“No relative or loved one should ever have to have one of our Troopers knock on their door to let them know their loved one is not coming home,” Taylor said in a press release.

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This year, Independence Day falls on a Monday, which means the busy holiday period will cover the entire weekend, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday July 1 and ending at midnight on Monday July 4.

Soldiers will implement a variety of additional initiatives to make roads safer for everyone through enforcement details, as well as educational opportunities. The operation highlights the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and consists of informative media day events, line patrol and saturation details and driver’s license checkpoints, as well as details of light detection and ranging (LIDAR), which will be conducted at various locations. across the whole state.

“Our Highway Patrol Division Soldiers have worked diligently to reduce road accidents and fatalities across the state through a number of high-visibility enforcement details,” Col. Jimmy Helms said. , Director of the ALEA Public Security Department. “However, one of the main areas of focus this year is raising public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving. Gone are the days of motorists impaired solely by alcohol consumption, which can affect your driving and response time on the roads. Drugs — including opioids, marijuana, and some over-the-counter medications — can impair driving by causing drowsiness, impair visual function, and affect mental judgment, while simultaneously reducing motor skills. Even other factors, such as fatigue and stress, can affect your ability to drive. We want to educate all motorists about the dangers of impaired driving, some who may seem more innocent than others, to achieve our goal of all citizens and visitors returning home safely after this holiday weekend.

In addition to safety reminders such as speeding, following too closely, blind-spot checks, and distracted driving, ALEA also emphasizes state travel law and the importance of staying alert and protecting first responders and all emergency response personnel while on the move. or slow down when hazard warning lights are detected on Alabama roads.

Fines for any traffic violations committed in a construction zone where workers are present will result in a $250 fine or double the regular fine, whichever is greater. Double fines are no longer just for speeding. Distracted driving, tailgating, aggressive driving, or any movement violation will result in a double fine under amended Alabama law. The Alabama Legislature’s amendments to the Construction Zones Act went into effect July 1, 2021, as the number of injuries and fatalities in work zones increased in 2020.

In the month of June alone, two FTA soldiers were beaten while safely stationed on the side of the road in two different areas of the state. Both soldiers made a full recovery.

“Recent experiences within our agency alone reiterate the magnitude of all motorists staying vigilant and helping us protect all citizens and visitors traveling to our state,” Secretary Taylor said. “Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.”

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