- Associated Press - Sunday, May 28, 2017

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) - Alabama law officers traditionally increase enforcement on highways during holidays. But just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, many Alabama agencies were already in amplified mode.

The “Click It Or Ticket” program is underway and continues through June 4, The TimesDaily reported (https://bit.ly/2rlpJcj).

The focus will be on making sure motorists are wearing seat belts and children are in proper restraints, authorities said.

“The biggest thing is, we’re just taking some time to remind everybody it only takes a second to buckle that seat belt,” said Eddie Russell, program coordinator for the North Alabama Traffic Safety office in Russellville.

“One second can be the second that makes a difference between life and death,” he said.

The official Memorial Day weekend travel period begins at 6 a.m. Friday and continues through midnight Monday, said Hal Taylor, secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Along with heavier enforcement on Alabama highways, Alabama Marine officers will have a heavy presence on the water throughout the weekend, Taylor said.

“Working in conjunction with our county and municipal law enforcement partners during the holiday weekend and beyond, we will work to promote public safety and reduce the number of traffic and boating crashes, injuries and fatalities,” Taylor said.

During the 2016 Click It Or Ticket campaign, officers in the north Alabama region issued 727 citations for failure to wear seat belts, Russell said. They issued 22 citations for failing to properly restrain a child.

They issued 115 warnings for not wearing seat belts and two warnings for not restraining a child, Russell said. In addition, they made 18 arrests for driving under the influence.

“Some people think they’re safe drivers and don’t need to buckle up, but it’s not necessarily your driving you need to worry about, but somebody else on the roadway who may not be paying attention,” Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said.

“Take that moment to buckle up,” Tyler said. “That’s an easy win.”

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Information from: TimesDaily, https://www.timesdaily.com/


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