Alabama Law Enforcement Agency urges safety during spring break, prom season

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Warm weather is approaching, and many of us are thinking about spring break – whether we’re in school or our kids are itching for a week off. Prom season is also coming soon, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency urges students and parents to go over safety rules and make them a priority.

Spring break is in late March for most Alabama schools as well as schools around the southeast, and drivers should expect heavier traffic on Alabama roadways and waterways.  Alabama State Troopers will aggressively patrol Alabama roadways and waterways, enforcing state laws and assisting motorists and boaters.

“Whether celebrating close to home or traveling to one of Alabama’s lakes, rivers, beaches or other attractions, we want everyone to arrive safely to their destination,” Acting Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler said. “Parents, we can’t do it without you. Please talk with your teens – particularly those who will travel with friends – before they leave home. Let’s be sure to review traffic and boating laws with our teens, reminding them to obey speed limits, buckle up, avoid such distractions as texting while driving and to use life vests while on the water.”

Secretary Stabler said this is a good time to review the state’s Graduated Driver License law with your teen driver. It is a three-stage licensing process that places certain restrictions on young drivers to ensure they acquire experience before driving without supervision or restrictions:

Stage I (learner’s permit): A teen is authorized to drive when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver age 21 or older who is occupying the front passenger seat.

Stage II (restricted license): A 16- or 17-year-old who has passed the road skills test may drive without supervision, but he or she must not have more than one passenger in the vehicle other than parents, legal guardians or family members; must not use any handheld communication devices while driving; must not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver age 21 or older.

Stage III (unrestricted license): A 17-year-old who has held a Stage II license for six months or longer may obtain an unrestricted license. Anyone who is age 18 or older may bypass the first two stages and obtain a Stage III license after passing the road skills test.

Parents and other adults are also urged to restrict access to alcohol and closely monitor teens to prevent underage use.

Please also urge teens not to text and drive, and set the example by not doing it yourself.  Watch WHNT News 19’s special presentation on Distracted Driving.

For further information on Alabama’s boating, traffic and drinking laws, please visit www.alea.gov.