Stay safe in holiday traffic

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 27, 2007


The Department of Public Safety estimates that 17 people may die in traffic crashes in Alabama during the 78-hour Memorial Day travel period that began at 6 p.m. Friday, through midnight Monday, May 28.

Last year during the 78-hour Memorial Day weekend, 13 people were killed in traffic crashes in the state. At least six of the deaths were alcohol related, and nine of the crash victims were not using safety restraints, according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

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State troopers will increase patrols and traffic enforcement activity during the Memorial Day holiday travel period.

They also are aggressively enforcing the state’s seat belt and child restraint laws as part of a national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization May 21-June 3.

Col. J. Christopher Murphy, Department of Public Safety director, said in a news release troopers and local law enforcement agencies are conducting a number of checkpoints targeting compliance with the safety restraint regulations.

“The goal of ‘Click It or Ticket’ is simple – to save lives and boost compliance with the state’s safety belt and child restraint laws,” said Murphy.

Murphy said about one in five motorist’s fails to buckle up in Alabama.

Alabama’s seat belt law requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, be restrained. The child restraint law further requires the following size-appropriate restraint systems for children riding in front and back seats:

Infant-only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least one year of age or 20 pounds;

Convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least five years of age or 40 pounds;

Booster seats until the child is six years of age;

Seat belts until the child is 15 years of age.