Taniesa L. Sullivan | The Weekly Ledger News | Press Report from ALEA
MONTGOMERY, AL – Thanksgiving marks one of the busiest weeks of the year on Alabama roadways. This year, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) urges everyone to prepare to share the road with millions of other motorists as AAA predicts more than 49 million Americans will be driving during the upcoming holiday.
“There is nothing better than making memories with family and friends during this extended holiday weekend, even if it means driving for hours and traveling long distances,” ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said. “We encourage everyone to make sure their vehicle is travel ready, leave early to allow for heavy traffic, buckle up, and never drive impaired. Your welfare and the safety of others this season starts with an individual commitment to responsible actions.”
This year’s holiday travel period begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, and ends at midnight Sunday, Nov. 26. All available Troopers within ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division will conduct additional enforcement details to ensure Alabama roadways are as safe as possible and prevent traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. As always, motorists will play a key role in traffic safety and should obey speed limits, make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled up, and avoid texting and other distractions while driving. With a chance of rain and storms in the forecast for some parts of the state, holiday travelers can also check roadway conditions and live video feed from ALGO before leaving the house.
Colonel Jonathan Archer, Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety, said, “As law enforcement officers, ALEA Troopers face a multitude of challenges as part of their job but notifying the loved ones of those killed in traffic crashes is truly one of the most dreaded responsibilities they have. We ask those traveling on Alabama roadways to make traffic safety a top priority and remember that you are the best gift you can give your family this holiday season.”
According to data compiled by the Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) in Alabama, 65 lives have been tragically lost during previous extended Thanksgiving travel periods from 2018 to 2022. Since 2019, CAPS has recorded an overall decline in traffic-related injuries and deaths, however, ALEA needs everyone’s assistance to ensure that trend continues.
ALEA Troopers offer the following traffic safety tips for this Thanksgiving holiday:
Take breaks and rotate drivers during long trips.
Use seatbelts and proper child restraints.
Remember Alabama’s Move Over Law
Keep the left lane for passing only.
Eliminate distractions such as cell phones when driving.
If you feel fatigued, pull over and stretch your legs get something to eat or drink, and make sure you are ready to continue your trip before getting back behind the wheel.
Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
Never drive drowsy.
Never drink and drive.
You are the best gift you can give your family this holiday season. So, practice safe driving habits.