Special to Atmore News
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol divisions continued to see a decrease in traffic and boating-related fatalities compared to the official Labor Day holiday period in previous years.
Troopers investigated only four traffic deaths and no boating deaths during the extended holiday weekend, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, and ended at midnight Monday, Sept. 6. During the 2020 Labor Day weekend, troopers investigated three traffic fatalities and one non-boating fatality (drowning) which was more than a 60 percent decrease compared to 2019, when troopers investigated 10 traffic-related deaths.
ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said, “We sincerely believe one of the contributing factors to the dramatic decrease in fatalities over the past couple of years is a direct result from the hiring of more troopers and having additional personnel to actively patrol Alabama’s roadways and waterways in high-visibility enforcement initiatives.”
While ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division experienced no boating fatalities, troopers did investigate two drownings, one on Logan Martin Lake in St. Clair County and one on the Black Warrior River in Greene County.
On the roadways, troopers are still investigating fatal crashes in Calhoun, Washington and Coffee counties, during which a driver, two passengers and a pedestrian were killed.
Labor Day (Sept. 6) was the only day of the four-day weekend with no traffic-related deaths.
ALEA troopers also joined law enforcement agencies across the state and nation in safety initiatives such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Hands Across the Border, both designed to curb driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Troopers issued 26 citations for DUI on the state’s roadways and two citations for boating under the influence.
The trooper presence over the holiday period was enhanced by funding through grants from the Alabama Department of Transportation and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.