MONTGOMERY— Gov. Bob Riley has awarded two grants totaling $154,131 to help law enforcement agencies in 10 southeast Alabama counties reinforce the message that dangerous drivers are not welcome on the state’s roads.
The Southeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office will use the funds to increase enforcement of the state’s DUI, speeding and seat belt laws to reduce the number of automobile crashes that result in injury or death.
The Safety Office, based at Enterprise-Ozark Community College, assists law enforcement agencies in Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.
“An increased law enforcement presence is a strong reminder to drive safely,” Riley said. “I am pleased to support this effort to save lives by removing dangerous drivers from Alabama roadways.”
The grants will be used to pay overtime for police officers and sheriff's deputies as they increase patrols and set up sobriety checkpoints during busy travel periods including holiday weekends. The patrols will focus on areas where a high number of crashes have occurred.
The Safety Office also will conduct an awareness campaign about factors that commonly lead to automobile crashes and assist law enforcement agencies with programs promoting the use of seat belts and child safety seats.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Riley informed Dr. Nancy Chandler, interim president of Enterprise-Ozark, that the grants had been approved.