ALEA reports 14 traffic deaths during 9-day
holiday period

Special to Atmore News

Although 14 people lost their lives in traffic crashes during the recent 9-day extended holiday period, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) officials reported that troopers with the agency’s Highway Patrol Division investigated 19 fewer fatalities than they had the year before.
In 2022, state troopers investigated a total of 31,990 traffic crashes, which resulted in 10,914 injuries and 586 fatalities. Crashes declined by 2,185 and injuries were down 646 in 2022 from the 2021 totals.
“We would like to thank the motoring public for their diligence and continuous efforts in assisting law enforcement, which enabled ALEA troopers to reduce the number of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities, ultimately making Alabama roadways safer,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “However, this extended holiday travel period still reminds us that we need to remain constant in our resolve to create an environment of safety on our state’s roadways.”
The extended holiday travel period began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 24, and ended at midnight Sunday, January 1, 2023.
The fatal crashes occurred in Baldwin, Chambers, Chilton, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Jefferson, Limestone, Marshall, Monroe and Tuscaloosa counties.
Of those killed, 11 were drivers, and three were passengers. All were traveling in vehicles equipped with seat belts. Four individuals were using them, nine were not. (In one case, it is unknown whether a seat belt was used.)
“Our Troopers did a phenomenal job this year actively patrolling and working numerous high-visibility details in order to reduce crashes and save lives,” said Col. Jimmy Helms, director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety. “However, they were tasked with notifying the loved ones of these 14 individuals following the fatal crashes over the holiday season. This is one of the most difficult parts of our job and we at ALEA offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones.”
ALEA would like to remind everyone how important traffic safety is and urge the motoring public to begin 2023 with a pledge to make it a top priority at all times of the year.
An initiative for the Agency over the course of the next year will be to focus on both education and enforcement as it relates to the use of seat belts.
Whether an individual is a driver or a passenger, buckling up is the single most effective action he or she can take to protect themselves in a crash.
During the holiday season ALEA also promoted its “12 Days of Safety” initiative to reiterate traffic safety and encourage safe driving behaviors through a variety of enforcement activities, including driver license and equipment check points.
The enforcement and education program is designed to curb such deadly behaviors as driving under the influence, driving while distracted, not buckling up, speeding and following too closely.
Taylor encouraged everyone to be familiar with the holiday campaign’s safety tips — which are still available on the Agency’s website — — throughout the year.