‘Put Safety First and Prevent the Worst’ this Memorial Day Weekend

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Special to the Advance

Labeled the unofficial start of Summer, Memorial Day is one of three upcoming major holidays when Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) experience an influx of citizens and visitors on both Alabama’s busy roadways and scenic waterways. This upcoming weekend will also mark the official start of the Agency’s “Summer of Safety” Campaign, in an effort to share various safety tips regarding roadway and boating safety through the 101 days of Summer, ending with the Labor Day weekend.

“Summer is a wonderful time to plan family vacations, travel and enjoy the waterways. Unfortunately, it can also be filled with hazards and has proven to be one of the most dangerous times of the year,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “Each year, we develop safety campaigns and participate in high-visibility enforcement details to educate the public and enforce the state’s laws to make it safer for all citizens and visitors. Safety is our top priority, and this holiday weekend will be no different as we are proud to participate and conduct a variety of initiatives, details and safety events in the days leading up to Memorial Day to reduce crashes on both the highways and waterways in order to save lives.”

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The official Memorial Day travel period begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, and concludes at midnight Monday, May 29. During this time, all available Troopers within ALEA’s Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions will be actively patrolling the state’s roadways and waterways. ALEA Troopers in the Highway Patrol Division are currently participating in the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign, which runs from May 22 to June 4. This specific detail, funded by Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), reminds drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling up and the legal consequences for not wearing a seat belt. ALEA Troopers will also conduct numerous driver license checkpoints across the state and will be watching for drivers who are speeding and driving while impaired.

Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), Colonel Jon Archer said, “Please understand we will not tolerate driving or operating a boat while impaired. We want everyone to have a fun and enjoyable holiday weekend as we begin the summer season, but if you choose to consume alcohol, please do so responsibly.”

 

Prior to Memorial Day, ALEA’s Marine Patrol launched National Safe Boating Week to share important boating and water safety reminders ahead of the busy holiday weekend. The Division’s Northern District also offered courtesy vessel inspections, encouraging boaters to double check all of their required safety equipment and make sure they have properly fitting life jackets.

Furthermore, the Agency’s Aviation Unit will partner with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for the second year in a row to conduct a Summer Rescue Swimmer Detail. ALEA will provide an

 

aircraft and pilot to quickly fly and deploy rescue swimmers from both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Fire Departments to distressed swimmers. The aircraft will also be utilized to conduct beach safety flights, patrolling in those areas where lifeguards are not available.

“This partnership and detail were a huge success last year and provided a valuable service to many citizens and visitors. We are proud to partner with local agencies once more to provide an additional layer of security which hopefully adds to the overall public safety for those visiting Alabama’s beaches,” added Protective Services Division Chief Stephen Tidwell.

Access ALEA’s ‘Summer of Safety’ Playbook online to view all of the Agency’s tips for the roadways, waterways and beach.