Law enforcement out in full force

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Covington County will share in a portion of nearly $200,000 that will be used to keep highways safe this Thanksgiving holiday.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) announced the $195,832 award for the Southeast Alabama Regional Highway Safety Office at Enterprise State Community College. The office serves Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.

Gov. Bob Riley announced that more than $1.89 million in funds are to be used by nine regional traffic safety offices to coordinate local campaigns to enforce Alabama’s speeding, safety belt, child restraint and DUI laws.

And with highway travel during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday week expected to be heavy in Alabama as families travel to holiday destinations, the Alabama Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies urge motorists to drive safely in their travels.

For those traveling out of town, there will be no temporary lane closures on Alabama interstates after noon today through midnight on Sunday.

Emergency lane closures may be possible dependant on specific circumstances on interstates and other state roadways, said state transportation director Joe McInnes.

“Limiting construction during holidays when traffic volume is higher helps provide safer conditions for the traveling public, road construction workers and our highway maintenance crews,” McInnes said. “Motorists should remember to drive carefully at all times, don’t drive impaired, obey posted speed limits and make sure seat belts are fastened every trip, every time.”

During the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday period, there were eight traffic fatalities in Alabama – down from 10 the previous year.

Additionally, state troopers will be out in full force during the three-day period as part of the Department of Public Safety’s “Take Back Our Highways” campaign. During this 102-hour highway safety program, holiday travelers will see more state troopers on patrol and more citations being written.

The two traffic initiatives will work conjunctively to make every effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on roadways, officials said.