This holiday season, travel experts are predicting
pre-pandemic numbers as millions of Americans prepare to reunite with their
loved ones. In accordance with national travel forecasts, Troopers within the
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division are expecting
to see a significant increase in the volume of traffic on Alabama’s roadways
and will be working diligently to ensure everyone is able to gather around the
table with friends and family this year.
“During the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday travel period, ALEA
Troopers recorded nearly a 30% decrease in statewide traffic fatalities, which
resulted in three fewer traffic-related deaths in 2020 as compared to 2019,” said
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “Our Agency’s mission is to save lives, therefore,
our goal this Thanksgiving holiday travel period is to ensure that trend
continues. Our Highway Patrol Division has developed a very specific and
deliberate holiday enforcement plan that targets those areas in which
historically, we have documented an elevated number of crashes. This initiative
includes proactive patrols utilizing a variety of enforcement techniques along
our major thoroughfares, specifically Interstates 10, 65 and 85.”
Recently, ALEA partnered with the Alabama Department of
Transportation (ALDOT) in their new campaign, “Not a Game,” to promote work
zone safety and inform drivers of recent changes to the state’s construction
zone law. Fines for any moving traffic violation committed in a construction
zone where workers are present will now result in a $250 fine or double the
regular fine, whichever amount is greater. Double fines will now be given for
dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving
and distracted driving.
“It is our duty to not only enforce state laws but also
educate and inform citizens so that everyone is fully aware of any changes and
can make wise decisions while traveling,” said Taylor. “These laws are in place
to protect everyone including the motoring public, construction zone workers,
pedestrians and emergency first responders.”
ALEA Troopers will be patrolling roadways, enforcing the law
and assisting motorists. Additional
shifts to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities are made possible
with grant funding from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community
Affairs (ADECA) and ALDOT.
“We are especially thankful this holiday for our Troopers
and other law enforcement partners who will be sacrificing part of their
holiday and time with loved ones to patrol Alabama roads and keep all of our citizens
and visitors safe,” said Taylor. “On behalf of the Alabama Law Enforcement
Agency, I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful holiday
Additionally, ALEA offers the following safety tips and
reminders for citizens this Thanksgiving holiday:
multi-lane roadways, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it
courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, but Alabama law also requires
slower traffic to keep to the right and to only use the left lane for passing
(when posted). Motorists can drive for a mile and a half in the left lane before
needing to move back over.
seat belt/child restraint law requires ALL passengers – no matter how old or
which seat they are occupying – to be buckled up.
• Do not
drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.
Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming alcohol and it is
illegal for anyone to have an open bottle of alcohol in a vehicle.
driving distracted. Distractions include texting, utilizing a cell phone or
smartphone, talking to passengers, watching videos, playing mobile games,
adjusting the radio, navigation system or other devices. Distractions endanger
drivers, passengers and bystander safety. Alabama law prohibits texting while
driving as well as searching the Internet on a mobile device while operating a
defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
drive fatigued – allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road
conditions/closings in Alabama, visit www.alea.gov/weather-advisories.
• Stay alert
when shopping and driving through crowded parking lots. Stay vigilant and park
in well-lighted areas when shopping at night. Citizens should lock their
vehicles and remove any valuables, including money or wallets from plain sight.
Slow down in congested parking lots and stay alert for shoppers and
• Move over
when approaching emergency or tow vehicles. Alabama’s Move Over Law requires
motorists to move over or slow down to 15 mph or less than the posted speed
limit if they are not able to change lanes.