Bentley Awards $155,535 for North Alabama ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign
A record 91.4 percent of Alabamians buckled up in 2010. To maintain that highway-safety trend in north Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded grants totaling $155,535 to help two regional traffic safety offices coordinate special enforcement campaigns.
The grants will fund overtime pay for police officers and sheriff’s deputies in 15 counties. The North Alabama Traffic Safety Office was awarded $82,520 and the Etowah County Commission received $73,015 to support the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office.
Increased patrols and seat belt checkpoints will be conducted in conjunction with the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign from May 23 to June 5 and at other peak travel periods during the year.
The North Alabama Safety Office, based at Northwest Shoals Community College, covers Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Morgan and Winston counties.
Based in Gadsden, the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office serves Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Madison and Marshall counties.
“Strong enforcement and visible patrols serve as strong reminders to drive safely,” Bentley said. “I commend the dedicated officers across Alabama who save lives by working long hours on patrol and at safety checkpoints.”
Since Alabama’s first “Click It or Ticket” campaign in 2000, the state’s seat-belt use rate has risen from 70.6 percent to the current rate of 91.4 percent, according to observational surveys conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
During the 2010 “Click It or Ticket” campaign, law enforcement officers across the state conducted 348 checkpoints and issued 31,610 warnings, citations and arrests, according the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to Alabama by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Bentley notified J. Patrick Sims, chief executive officer of Etowah County, and Dr. Humphrey Lee, president of Northwest Shoals Community College, that the grants had been awarded.