ALEA: Arrive safe this holiday season

Published 7:30 am Thursday, December 22, 2022

Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled and travel spikes. No matter the activity or festive event you and your family have planned, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) urges motorists traveling on Alabama roadways to slow down and prepare ahead of your trip to ensure that everyone arrives safely to their destination.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “The days leading up to Christmas through New Year’s Day are a wonderful time for celebration and happiness, as this is truly a season to cherish with friends and family. However, we all must remember the hazards associated with traveling during this busy time of year. Whether it is preparing your vehicle for long trips and changing weather conditions to being smart while driving defensively on short trips, we strongly encourage motorists to be aware and take full advantage of the tips within this safety message. This Agency is devoted to saving lives and ensuring everyone travels safely and returns home safely.”

The extended holiday travel period will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, and end at midnight Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. During this time, ALEA’s Troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol Division will conduct a variety of enforcement activities, including driver license and equipment check points, to curb such deadly behaviors as driving under the influence, driving while distracted, not buckling up, speeding and following too closely.

To continue to educate drivers throughout the holiday season, the Agency will also launch an online “12 Days of Safety” campaign, which will begin Thursday, Dec. 22, and run through New Year’s until Jan. 2, 2023. During this year’s message strategy, ALEA will share tips and information to shed light on various risky driving behaviors and their potential consequences, with a focus on impaired driving and speeding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic crashes involving an impaired driver killed 937 people nationwide in December of 2020 alone. Speeding remains one of America’s most dangerous driving behaviors and was a contributing factor in 29 percent of all fatal crashes in 2020, according to NHTSA data.

Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) Colonel Jimmy Helms said, “Traveling over the posted speed limit and driving impaired continue to be leading contributing factors behind crashes during holiday travel periods. Therefore, ALEA continues to stress the importance of following all traffic laws, but especially obeying all posted speed limits. It is also extremely critical to understand and remember, if you plan to ring in the New Year, you must celebrate responsibly. While rejoicing in the holiday activities it’s vital that everyone use a designated driver or some type of a ride-sharing service, because ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division will have a zero tolerance for impaired drivers this holiday travel period.”