ALDOT, AAA urge caution

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The roadways are guaranteed to be more crowded during the Independence Day holiday and several organizations and companies are not only encouraging travelers to practice extra safety, but also providing means for them to do so.

The Alabama Department of Transportation released a statement last week that there would be no temporary lane closures in the state interstates beginning on 1 p.m. Wednesday through midnight on Sunday, July 7.

For the safety of the traveling public, construction industry workers and maintenance crews, roadwork will be limited during this busy holiday period.

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Throughout the year, ALDOT limits road construction during major holiday weekends. Emergency lane closures may be possible dependant on specific circumstances on interstates and other state roadways.

Motorists are encouraged to obey all posted work speed zones, in addition to the closures, to insure safety in those construction zones.

Tony Harris with ALDOT said monthly statistics on crash fatalities where seat belts were available and were not used increased from May to June.

According the traffic crash data, 57 people were killed in the state in vehicle crashes in June compared to 33 in May.

Because the amount of traffic expected, as well as a holiday environment, ALDOT said Highway Patrol Posts will step up enforcement in what they call “hot spots” or areas where crash numbers seem to be high. From July 4 until midnight of July 7, all available state troopers and law enforcement officers from other departments across the state, will be patrolling to enforce traffic lasws, assist motorists and set up drivers license checkpoints.

AAA, in an effort to save lives and keep drivers from taking to the roadway after drinking during the holiday, will offer their free Tow-for-Life public services. The service is offered to members and non-members alike.

“This is a very dangerous time of year to be on the roads,” said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama spokesperson. “We want to do everything possible to prevent people from drinking and driving, and this service should certainly help keep impaired drivers off the roads.”

Residents interested in using these services should call AAA-Alabama at 1-800-222-4357 and ask for Tow-for-Life.