Law officers keep eye on Spring Break traffic

benw@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 23, 2014 

With Spring Break sending college students through Columbus on their way to the Florida beaches, Columbus police and other law enforcement agencies will be watching traffic on the roadways.

Police Lt. Tony Danford of the Motor Squad Division said officers on patrol will be watching motorists for speeding and traffic violations during the break that runs into early April.

"There will be patrols out, but I can't really tell you what our plans are," Danford said. "They will be monitoring those areas where there is high traffic."

Interstate 85 and J.R. Allen Parkway in Columbus and U.S. 280-431 in Phenix City are popular routes for students traveling through the area to Panama City, Fla.

"You got people traveling through here from basically not only the state of Georgia, but you got other states traveling through here, Tennessee, the Carolinas and places like that," Danford said, "They are traveling to Panama City."

Inside the vehicles, Danford said there is a potential to have alcohol, narcotics and other items.

"The main thing is making sure the roads are safe for everybody else to drive on at the same time," Danford said.

Across the Chattahoochee River, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is encouraging teen drivers and their parents to make highway safety a priority.

Before teens get on the road, parents should take a few minutes to go over traffic laws, especially if a teen will be traveling with teen friends, Col. Hugh B. McCall, the director of Public Safety, said in a statement.

"Remind them to buckle up, to focus on the road, to avoid such distractions as texting while driving and to obey speed limits and other traffic laws," he said.

Parents with teen drivers also should review Alabama's Graduated Driver License Law, a three-stage licensing process that places certain restrictions on young drivers to ensure they acquire experience behind the wheel before driving without supervision or restrictions.

Making sure that you are wearing your seat belt is the most important tip when you get behind the wheel.

"The rule of spring break is to let the hair down, so to speak," Danford said. "That generally leads to irresponsible behavior. You need to be aware of that when you are operating your vehicle on the road."

In the past, some students' plans for spring break were canceled after they were stopped in a vehicle checkpoint and police seized drugs.

Police wouldn't disclose any details of checkpoints Friday.

Many problems are fueled by drugs and alcohol.

"If you take drugs and alcohol out of the situation, you won't have that," Danford said.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service