From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Troopers within the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division saw nearly a 30 percent decrease in overall traffic fatalities during the extended 2020 Thanksgiving travel period. ALEA Troopers investigated only eight traffic-related deaths as compared to 11 during the same holiday travel period in 2019.
This year’s Thanksgiving travel period began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, and ended at midnight Sunday, Nov. 29. The fatal traffic crashes occurred in Colbert, Coosa, Jefferson, Morgan, Russell, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties. One pedestrian and a motorcyclist were among the eight individuals killed.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said there have been decreases in traffic deaths during the last two holiday travel times.
“We saw over a 60 percent decrease in traffic fatalities over Labor Day weekend and with nearly a 30 percent decrease during Thanksgiving, we are hoping to see that trend continue with more Troopers on Alabama roadways,” Secretary Taylor said.
Taylor said ALEA is not relaxing its goal of continuing to decrease deaths.
“Investigating three fewer traffic deaths this past weekend is certainly an achievement, however, we are continuously striving to reach the point to where we celebrate a holiday weekend without any loss of life,” said Taylor. “It is ALEA’s mission to ensure everyone makes it home alive and well. Through our campaigns, initiatives and proactive patrolling, we believe this goal will soon become a reality.”
ALEA has hired 118 Troopers since Jan. 1. The agency graduated one of the largest classes in recent history on Nov. 4, adding 52 new ALEA Troopers throughout the state.
Secretary Taylor said, “We greatly value the assistance from citizens and other motorists who work with ALEA to make our roadways safer. We ask everyone to continue to help us promote traffic safety in a joint effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Let’s all work together toward a holiday season with zero traffic-related deaths.”