From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY – Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions continued to see a decrease in traffic and boating-related fatalities compared to the official Labor Day holiday period in previous years.
This year, Troopers investigated four traffic deaths and zero boating deaths during the extended holiday weekend, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, and ended at midnight Monday, Sept. 6. During the 2020 Labor Day weekend, ALEA Troopers investigated three traffic fatalities and one non-boating fatality (drowning) which was more than a 60 percent decrease in fatalities compared to 2019 where Troopers investigated 10 traffic-related deaths.
“We sincerely believe one of the contributing factors to the dramatic decrease in fatalities over the past couple of years is a direct result from the hiring of more Troopers and having additional personnel to actively patrol Alabama’s roadways and waterways in high-visibility enforcement initiatives,” ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said. “This is a trend we will strive to achieve as we are more determined than ever to reach our goal of zero traffic and boating-related fatalities throughout holiday weekends. We are unequivocally dedicated in our mission and overall goal of ensuring that everyone makes it safely home to their loved ones.”
While ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division experienced zero boating fatalities, Troopers did investigate two non-boating fatalities, one on Logan Martin Lake in St. Clair County and one on the Black Warrior River in Greene County.
On roadways, Troopers continue to investigate deadly crashes in Calhoun, Washington and Coffee counties, during which a driver, two passengers and a pedestrian were fatally injured. Labor Day, which was on September 6 this year, was the only day of the four-day weekend with zero traffic-related deaths.
Working with law enforcement partners across the state and the nation, ALEA Troopers participated in safety initiatives such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Hands Across the Border, which are designed to curb driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Between Friday and Monday, Troopers issued 26 DUIs on roadways and two BUIs on waterways. Bolstering Trooper presence during the holiday weekend was made possible through grant funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.