Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
201 South Union Street, Suite 3000 / P.O. Box 304115 / Montgomery, AL 36130-4115
PHONE 334.517.2800 / LE.ALABAMA.GOV
KAY IVEY
GOVERNOR
 
OFFICE OF THE
SECRETARY
Hal Taylor
Acting Secretary

May 17, 2016

ALEA Stresses Traffic, Boating Safety During Memorial Day Weekend



[Montgomery, Ala.] -- It’s time to wrap up another school year, celebrate high school and college graduations and kick off the summer with Memorial Day Weekend. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) would like to remind everyone to play it safe along Alabama roadways and waterways this Memorial Day Weekend.

The official holiday travel period runs from 6 a.m. Friday, May 27, to midnight Monday, May 30, but Alabama State Troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions will work together throughout the next two weeks to create a highly visible enforcement presence and to promote public safety.

“We urge motorists and boaters of all ages to obey all traffic and boating laws to ensure everyone enjoys the extended holiday weekend and the coming warm-weather months,” Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler said. “We would like nothing more than to reduce the number of traffic and boating crashes, injuries and fatalities. We will team with our county and municipal law enforcement partners to serve and protect the citizens of Alabama, particularly on Memorial Day Weekend, when we typically see more traffic.”

This is also the time of year for high school and college graduations, with celebrations that frequently include alcohol, often with underage use. It is important for parents to be aware and monitor party-goers who are younger than 21.

During the days surrounding Memorial Day Weekend, Troopers will participate in two national safety campaigns: National Safe Boating Week, which begins Saturday, May 21, and runs through Friday, May 27; and Click It Or Ticket, which begins Monday, May 23, and runs through Sunday, June 5, to promote the use of seat belts and child restraints.

Colonel John E. Richardson, director of the Department of Public Safety, said Troopers and other officers will be looking for motorists who are not buckled up. In Alabama, the seat belt law mandates that all front-seat occupants -- regardless of age -- be restrained. They also will engage in routine patrols, as well as traffic, boating and alcohol enforcement details, and they will be available to assist motorists. (Motorists may call *HP on cell phones to reach the nearest Highway Patrol post.)

ALEA also offers these tips for ensuring a safe Memorial Day Weekend and summer:

· Remember Alabama’s seat belt law mandates that all front-seat occupants -- regardless of age -- be restrained. The state’s child restraint law requires the following size-appropriate restraint systems for children riding in front and back seats: Infant-only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least 1 year of age or 20 pounds; convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds; booster seats until the child is 6 years of age; seat belts until the child is 15 years of age.

· Buckle up -- no matter how short the trip -- on the road or on the water. Occupants of all ages should use seat belts or child restraints when traveling by motor vehicles. On waterways, all occupants of water vessels should use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

· Restrict access and closely monitoring teens to prevent underage use of alcoholic beverages.

· Avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

· Focus on driving or boating and avoiding such distractions as texting and talking on cell phones.

· Slow down in construction zones along the way. Drivers pose the greatest danger in work zone crashes by not paying attention, speeding and driving while impaired or distracted.

· Pay attention to weather conditions, particularly when there is thunder and lightning. Storms can come up quickly, especially in warm weather, so keep an eye to the sky. Watch for temperature changes, shifts in wind patterns and changes in cloud formations.

“Troopers will target such dangerous behavior as speeding, DUI, distracted driving, following too closely and other driving behaviors that cause crashes and contribute to more severe crashes,” Secretary Stabler said, adding the expanded traffic enforcement initiative is made possible by grants provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).

“We appreciate ADECA and ALDOT’s ongoing support, but we also need the public’s support,” he added. “All we ask is Alabama citizens and visitors help us make the most of the summer.”

###