"Operation Safe Holidays" a Success

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

State troopers were out in full force this holiday season and if you were on any of the state's highways you probably passed a couple.

The increased patrols are part of the traffic safety campaign "Operation Safe Holidays."

Troopers were hoping their presence on state highways would detract risky driving and they were right.

The 24-day campaign was a success and troopers across the state are patting themselves on the back. for a job well done.

"I believe we got the message out," said Alabama State Trooper, Kevin Cook.

"They're seeing us it's more of a presence and visibility on our part," said Cook.

Operation Safe Holidays kicked off December 10th and ran through Midnight January 2nd.

"We had 492 DUI arrests, we issued 14,395 speeding tickets, we wrote 69 reckless driving citations," said Cook.

Cook attributes the numbers to two things: technology and community.

Technology allowed troopers to pinpoint the exact location of where most traffic accidents occur and the community alerted troopers of any risky driving.

“They're calling in the DUI drivers; they're calling in and complaining about the speeders flying up and down their county roads as well as aggressive driving."

Troopers investigated 10 fewer traffic fatalities in 2010 than last year.

“We're still making a difference and every since we kicked off take back our highways in 2007 we have consistently seen declines," said Cook.

Just hours before the new year an accident on US 231 South claimed the lives of 2 Wiregrass residents.

"So what does that tell me? People still aren't buckling up," said Cook.

"In 8 different counties we had 46 fatalities this year. Over half of them didn't buckle their seatbelts."

Trooper Cook stresses he isn't just out there to write tickets.

"We're out there to assist the motoring public and help out Alabamians if they need our help."

Cook says one of the biggest hazards facing drivers nationwide is texting while driving.

He's hoping legislatures will pass an ordinance to protect motorists.

Trooper fatalities were at their highest four years ago with more than 800 deaths, the numbers have since declined.

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