ALEA urging boaters, drivers to stay safe during Memorial Day weekend

ALEA urging boaters, drivers to stay safe during Memorial Day weekend

ALABAMA (WTVM) - ALEA troopers want to make sure that Alabamians kicking off summer do so safely, so they are giving out some reminders to keep in mind as you celebrate.

The unofficial holiday travel period for Memorial Day weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22 and lasts through 12:00 midnight on Monday, May 25.

All available troopers from ALEA’s Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions will be out patrolling roadways and waterways during the four-day period.

ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said, “Memorial Day weekend is a popular time for road trips to the beach, lake or other warm-weather hot spots. With the public’s assistance on Alabama roadways and waterways, we all can have fun, as well as get to and from our destinations safely.”

ALEA is offering the following reminders to those who will be out during Memorial Day weekend.

On the road

  • Buckle up – no matter how short the trip. (Even back-seat occupants must use seat belts or child restraints.
  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol/drugs. (Select a designated driver in advance or plan to use a ride-share service.)
  • Do not drive while distracted. (Distractions are not limited to texting. The list includes passengers, radio, food and other items or activities that take your focus off driving.)
  • Mind your speed. Speed limits are set for a reason!
  • Expect traffic congestion, particularly along popular routes to the beach or lake. (Leave early if you must arrive by a specific time.)

On the water

  • Make it a habit each time to check the boat’s safety equipment before departing.
  • Do not boat under the influence of alcohol/drugs. (Select a designated driver beforehand.)
  • Have a personal flotation device (PFD) on board for each person on your boat. Children 7 and younger must wear PFDs at all times. (Make sure PFDs are in good condition, sized for intended individuals and U.S. Coast Guard-approved.)
  • Be courteous and cautious. Know the rules of the water, including what to do in a head-to-head meeting, who has the right of way and other regulations.
  • When boating at night, make sure required navigation lights are on and in good working order. Operate at slower speeds, and don’t venture into unfamiliar territory.
  • Give other boaters plenty of room. Don’t operate too close to private docks or the shoreline; and give skiers and swimmers a wide berth.
  • Never overload a vessel. Follow the capacity plate guidelines.

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