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Practicing safety during spring break

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Next week is a time of rest and relaxation for area students, teachers, faculty and staff, but state troopers hope safety is No. 1 on everyone's spring break to-do list.
For many, going on spring break means traveling to vacation spots, but Alabama's state troopers will be working during the season to ensure the safety of young drivers as they travel to their destination.
Department of Public Safety director Col. J. Christopher Murphy said impaired driving, failure to buckle up and speeding are the greatest highway safety threats to spring breakers.
"These are all potentially deadly choices," Murphy said. "Young drivers risk their own safety and the safety of their friends and passengers if they fail to buckle up or if they drive while impaired. We've seen that time and time again in Alabama, with tragic results."
Murphy said state troopers will be buckling down on traffic violations during the spring break season, but that there are certain things drivers can do to ensure safety.
"Troopers are here to protect you," he said. "You can help by driving defensively and courteously, obeying the speed limit and all other traffic laws."
Troopers provide the following safety tips for spring breakers:
State troopers are not the only officials concerned about the safety of spring break vacationers.
The American Red Cross said there are steps to make ahead of time in case an emergency or disaster occurs while on spring break.
"Leaving for vacation without taking the following actions would be neglecting to pack a suitcase: extremely inconvenient and potentially dangerous," preparedness director Sandra Lanier said. "So before you go, we recommend you take a few actions to prepare for the unexpected in unfamiliar surroundings."
The American Red Cross suggests:
For information on how to stay safe while swimming or for personal emergency preparedness packs and first aid kits, visit www.redcrossalcoast.org.