Local law enforcement urges safe driving

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 20, 2019

The holiday season is here, which comes with an uptick in vehicles on the road.

Local law enforcement wants motorists to enjoy the holidays, but they are also reminding drivers there will be an increased police presence on the roadways.

“The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office would like to wish all our citizens a very safe and Merry Christmas,” said Deputy Sheriff Richard Carter in a news release. “It is our hope that everyone arrives safely into the new year.”

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Part of ensuring everyone arrives in the new year, the sheriff’s office is releasing a new driving campaign titled “Ho, Ho, No Campaign.”

The campaign is stressing no texting and driving, no speeding and no driving without a seat belt.

The sheriff’s office says throughout the holidays and into 2020, there will be more traffic enforcement from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office throughout the county, especially in rural areas.

“Our hopes are that everyone can celebrate the birth of Christ and not have to mourn the loss or injury of a loved one due to a traffic accident,” Carter said in a news release. “Let’s all leave this year carefully and arrive in 2020 safely.”

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has also announced there will be a greater presence on the roadways during the holiday season as well.

“Our goal is simply to save lives,” ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said in a news release.

The extended holiday travel period will be from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, to midnight Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. During this time, ALEA urges motorists to assist troopers across the state in promoting safety on all Alabama roadways. The agency also is participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, designed to curb alcohol- and/or drug-impaired driving.

When so many are traveling at this time of year, safety is critical, Taylor said.

“Please obey speed limits, insist everyone in the vehicle buckle up, do not drive while under the influence or while distracted and do not follow too closely. These driving behaviors are among the most deadly,” he said.

Heightened seasonal traffic safety activities are made possible through grant funding from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). Additionally, for the safety of motorists and construction/maintenance crews during this season, ALDOT will suspend temporary lane closures on Alabama interstate highways from 6 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, to 6 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 26 and  from noon Tuesday, Dec. 31, to 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.