Alabama, Tennessee law enforcement kick off Hands Across the Border

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - At the Alabama-Tennessee state line, law enforcement from both states gather to kick off this year's Hands Across the Border.

"This high visibility campaign will run today August 21 through September 7 and is made possible largely by funding through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration," said Bill Whatley, public safety chief of theĀ Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs Public Safety Unit.

Higher police presence will look for impaired and distracted drivers, as well as seat belt use.

"It doesn't matter whether you're on that side or this side of the line, all of the things that contribute to our crashes don`t have any boundaries," said Tennessee Highway Safety Office director Kendell Poole.

"That way no one thinks they're safe if they run across the line on us," said Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder. "We have that relationship because everyone here is dedicated to protecting the lives of the people of both states."

The effort has gone on for years and it doesn't just include the troopers, but all agencies in both states down to every municipality.

"Huntsville Police Department takes traffic safety very seriously," said Lieutenant Jeffrey Rice with HPD. "We want to support this great initiative to make sure our drivers drive in a safe and courteous manner."

"Alabama State Troopers have worked over 19,000 crashes which is approximately 1,500 above what we worked last year," said State Troopers spokesman Chuck Daniels.

"It's important we save peoples lives," said Trooper Chris Hannah with Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The effort will bring increased roadblocks and saturation points throughout both states to keep a close eye on road safety through Labor Day weekend.