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franklin county times

Police: Be safe over holiday

By Staff
Jason Houston FCT Managing Editor
State and local law enforcement officials will be especially alert over the Thanksgiving holidays, enforcing traffic laws and stepping up drunk-driving patrols.
All available state troopers will be on duty during the Thanksgiving travel period to help ensure the safety of holiday motorists, according to Col. W.M. Coppage, Department of Public Safety director.
Enforcement activity will include driver license checkpoints, line patrols and saturation patrols in selected areas.
Through increased patrols, troopers will work to lessen the incidence of drunken driving, speeding and other serious traffic violations during the holiday period. They also will target enforcement of safety belt and child restraint laws during traffic stops and at checkpoints.
Locally, Russellville police chief Chris Hargett said his officers would also step up patrols over the holidays.
The department will also have its speed trailer posted in various spots around town to serve as a reminder for motorists to slow down. The trailer, which has been under repair during the past week, is expected to be back in service over the holidays.
Coppage called on motorists to join in the traffic safety effort by practicing careful, courteous and defensive driving throughout the holiday period. "Heavy holiday traffic is expected," Coppage said. "Alabama's state troopers urge motorists to be courteous and patient during holiday travel, watching out for other drivers and buckling up on every trip."
Alabama troopers, along with state police agencies nationwide, are stepping up their enforcement and safety education efforts as part of Operation CARE, Combined Accident Reduction Effort. This combined effort by state police throughout the nation is designed to increase traffic safety awareness and promote safe travel during selected holiday periods.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety estimates that 17 people may be killed in traffic crashes in Alabama this year during the 102-hour holiday travel period that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, and ends at midnight Sunday, Nov. 28. Last year 19 people died as a result of traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving period, 14 in rural areas and five in urban locales.
At least six of the deaths were alcohol related, and 12 of the fatal crash victims were not using safety belts.

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