Drive safely, stick around for new year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Efforts by Alabama State Troopers to reduce the number of highway deaths in our state are obviously paying off. Barring major incidents in the last three days of the year, the state’s traffic accident, traffic injury, and traffic fatality numbers will be down for the fourth consecutive year.

In 2006, 828 people died in accidents on Alabama highways. That number decreased to 766 in 2007; to 635 in 2008; to 541 in 2009; and through yesterday, to 496 for 2010.

To reduce those numbers, troopers are targeting drunk drivers and urging the use of safety belts. Statistics show that 40 percent of traffic fatalities involve alcohol and almost 65 percent who die in accidents are unrestrained.

The troopers’ efforts are commendable; but the ultimate responsibility for safe highways lies with those of us who drive. As we enter one of the nation’s biggest “party” weekends, we remind drivers to designate a driver before the New Year’s parties start.

Buckle up, observe the speed limits, and watch the road, not your phone.

We want you each to be around for the new year.