July 2, 2019 (STATEWIDE) – Increased trooper patrols on Alaska’s highways this Fourth of July holiday aim to send a message to motorists: Observe speed limits and posted road construction zones, drive courteously and responsibly, and reach your destination safely.
Already this year 34 people have died in 31 crashes on Alaska’s roads and highways. State Troopers Captain Tony April believes many, if not all, of those deaths could have been prevented.
“We do our part by patrolling Alaska’s highways and educating drivers,” said Capt. April, commander of “B” Detachment in Palmer. “And we want to take a moment to thank the majority of drivers who do their part to keep our highways safe by staying alert and following the law.”
Unfortunately, just one motorist taking a chance in a no-passing zone, texting while at the wheel, or driving under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs can create a deadly traffic situation for themselves and others on the road. Troopers will be watching for those drivers this weekend.
“Education can be expensive,” said Capt. April. Especially when it comes in the form of a traffic citation.
Motorists traveling 10-19 mph over the speed limit face fines of $8 per mile over and four points on their driver’s licenses. Speeding 20-plus mph over speed limits draws fines of $12 per mile over and six points. And if $250 sounds expensive for driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone, it pays to remember that fines double when violations occur in safety corridors and marked road construction zones.
Particularly expensive are convictions for driving under the influence – a Class A misdemeanor. Violators can expect mandatory jail time, court fines, SR22 insurance, and more.
“We’ll have extra troopers out there,” said Capt. April, “but we need everyone doing their part to have a safe Fourth of July.”
Funding for increased highway patrol efforts come from the National DUI High Visibility Enforcement Campaign with funds issued through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.