From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY – As thousands prepare to travel and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) encourages everyone to fully understand the importance of preparing vehicles or vessels for this extended holiday weekend.
“We continuously strive to ensure Alabama’s roadways and waterways are safe for everyone throughout the entire weekend,” ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said. “However, it is the little things that you can do ahead of time that can help save yours or someone else’s life.”
Secretary Taylor encourages motorists to check their vehicle before leaving, particularly for long-distance travel. He also encourages motorists to familiarize themselves with the route to avoid missing an important turn or exit which could potentially put others at risk.
Between Saturday, May 29, and Monday, May 31, ALEA’s Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions predict heavier-than-normal traffic on the road, as well as on the water. All available ALEA Troopers from both divisions will be working throughout the weekend to patrol and enforce state laws to ensure everyone’s safety.
ALEA will be participating in the national campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, during which Troopers and their law enforcement partners across the state will conduct sobriety checks and take necessary steps to remove impaired drivers from behind the wheel of both vehicles and boats (or other water vessels).
Assist the agency in working to save lives by following the additional safety tips, ALEA’s Five to Stay Alive:
Avoid driving and/or boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you plan on consuming alcohol pre-plan for a designated driver, call Uber or a cab. Designate a sober driver in advance to get you home safely.
Simply obey the law. Slow down and obey the speed limits. Focus on driving by putting aside cell phones and other items that may distract you. Use caution when traveling in construction zones and keep in mind Alabama’s Move Over Law.
Buckle up – no matter how short your trip. Ensure all of the vehicle’s occupants are buckled up (or using a child restraint system) and those on your boat are using or have access to personal flotation devices (PFDs are required at all times for children younger than age 8.)
Be courteous and cautious on the road and water. Always allow a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, so you can react to a traffic situation quickly and allow other drivers to maneuver around your car safely when needed. Always signal in advance before turning or changing lanes, always give the right of way to pedestrians and be sure to check your blind spots for other vehicles or motorcycles. If boating, know the rules of the water, including what to do in a head-tohead meeting, who has the right of way and other regulations.
Avoid the water during inclement weather, particularly when it includes thunder and lightning.
“We want everyone to enjoy this extended holiday weekend, however, the journey does not end until everyone makes it home safely,” said Secretary Taylor. “We ask that you prepare ahead, make smart choices and celebrate responsibly.”