State law enforcement urges safety during holiday weekend

Published 5:03 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Across Alabama, families and friends will gather to celebrate Independence Day with parades, parties and fireworks.

State law enforcement has teamed together to remind Alabamians that safety is important when traveling Alabama roadways or waterways and when celebrations involve fireworks.

For many people, Independence Day activities include alcohol, but the holiday quickly goes from festive to fatal when people choose to drive on roadways or operate vessels on waterways after drinking.

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In addition, each Fourth of July, thousands of injuries are attributed to the use of fireworks.

Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier said, “State law enforcement agencies are working together with county and municipal agencies to reduce injuries and deaths during this holiday period by enforcing traffic, boating, alcoholic beverage and fireworks laws.”

State law enforcement urges residents to follow the safety tips below:

•Restrict access and closely monitor teens to prevent underage use of alcoholic beverages.

•Avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

•Buckle up on the road or on the water – no matter how short your trip. Occupants of all ages should use seat belts or child restraints when traveling by motor vehicles. On waterways, all occupants of water vessels should use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

•Focus on driving or boating, and avoid such distractions as texting and using cell phones.

•Slow down in construction zones.

•Use common sense and obey the law when using fireworks.

•Supervise children 15 and younger.

•Use fireworks in a clear, open area outdoors and away from flammables and combustibles.

•Never consume alcohol while handling fireworks.