Police prepare for two traffic safety initiatives

Posted by Tom Ensey -  email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – You're likely to see more police presence on state roads in the coming weeks as Alabama State Troopers and other law enforcement take part in a pair of travel safety initiatives.

Both campaigns are starting this week ahead of the Memorial Day travel rush.

Troopers, police departments and sheriffs' offices are taking part in the'Click-it or Ticket' and 'Take Back our Highways.'

'Click-it or Ticket' is the two week blitz when police departments, sheriff's offices and troopers across the country make sure you're buckling up when you're on the road.

"Since we started this campaign, we've noticed a decrease in the number of fatalities in Alabama," said State trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville.

But Summerville said there's still a ways to go.

According to Alabama Department of Public Safety data, in 2009, there were nearly 1200 deaths in traffic-related accidents investigated by troopers.

Of those, 70 percent of the victims were not wearing seatbelts.

"We won't sit here and tell you that every time you put on a seatbelt that it will save your life, but nine times out of ten you certainly put the odds in your favor," Summerville said.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a money making campaign.

"There's no incentive by state troopers to go out and write tickets to actually gain money for us," Summerville said. "Because the money does not go to the Alabama State Troopers, it actually goes to the Alabama state general fund, which is a collection of a lot of state agencies."

Along with 'Click-it or Ticket,' troopers are also kicking off their 'Take Back our Highways' initiative.

They'll be looking out for dangerous driving behaviors that cause accidents.

"We want to change your behavior, from the time you step out of that door, get in your vehicle and drive that vehicle that your behavior insists that I'm going to drive in a safe manner today, and that's what we want," Summerville said.

The 'Take Back our Highways' initiative started Saturday, May 22 and goes on through Memorial Day.

'Click-it or Ticket' starts Monday, May 24th and runs through June.

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