“We are continuing our stepped-up traffic enforcement, which began June 19 and will continue through July 9,” Pell City Police Chief Greg Turley said.
Turley said the traffic safety directive given to all Pell City police officers was in response to five fatalities and numerous wrecks.
“We have had no serious accidents since we began the stepped-up enforcement,” he said.
Pell City Assistant Police Chief Ed Brasher said up through July 1, Pell City officers have conducted 550 traffic stops.
“I’d say about one-quarter of those resulted in tickets,” Brasher said. “Our officers mainly issued warnings. We are trying to modify people’s driving habits for the better. We’ve seen traffic slow down and have had less accidents, so it appears to be working so far. We hope it continues.”
Sylacauga Police Chief Chris Carden said the Sylacauga Police Department is currently participating in Click It or Ticket.
Carden said the department has done public service announcements advising heightened awareness.
“We want to remind people to be safe and sober,” he said. “Drive courteously, defensively and cautiously.”
Talladega Police Capt. Leon Thomas said the Talladega Police Department will bring in extra patrols to work part of the day shift and part of the night shift on July 4.
“We will have the extra patrols as an extra safety precaution,” he said. “The Fourth of July is always one of our biggest holidays, and the extra patrols will be there just in case they are needed. They will keep a check on city parks and the Veterans Park fireworks show to get everyone in and out safely.”
Alabama State Troopers are also preparing for heavier-than-usual traffic.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, all available troopers will be on duty during the Fourth of July holiday safety blitz, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, and runs through midnight Sunday, July 8. Troopers will enforce all traffic laws, assist motorists and serve as visible reminders to drive safely. In addition to routine patrol operations, enforcement plans include license and sobriety checkpoints, saturation and line patrols and operation of laser speed detection devices (LIDAR) from stationary vantage points.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety Director Col. Hugh B. McCall said that troopers will focus on violations that frequently cause crashes: speeding, making unsafe lane changes, following too closely and failing to yield right-of-way. These behaviors generally constitute “aggressive” driving when two or more are combined.
Troopers will also actively work to identify and apprehend drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs during the holiday travel period.
“With heightened trooper presence, we are working to increase safety on Alabama’s roadways,” he said. “The number of trooper-investigated fatalities is down and we are working to keep it that way. Our goal as troopers is to save lives, and we ask that the motoring public help us to ensure success.”
McCall said motorists can help make safety a priority by buckling up and avoiding distractions while driving — texting and talking on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle can have deadly consequences.
“Let’s work together, Alabama, to make this Fourth of July holiday travel period a safe one,” he said.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.