Additionally, the State institutes speed change zones in such frequency and with such short distance as to require evasive action by any driver simply to purposefully comply with their speed zone changes on these Interstates. A driver may unintentionally violate a speed limit simply because they were blocked from a speed change notification or were actually attempting to pay attention to the traffic on the road. The Alabama State Troopers and some Counties will employ as many as 10 cruisers at specific interchanges with the express intention of catching some unaware traveler, and especially someone from outside the State.
The actions are an obvious and grotesque abuse of police power, with the sole purpose of enhancing revenue from travelers from other States, knowing that the likelihood of those people showing up in a court to challenge the issue of citations is very low. Should your heritage, accent or tag show you are not a “local” you may be in for an even higher and perhaps illegal form of scrutiny.
The Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Hugh McCall was asked to comment for these observations. As of this writing, the Director has made no comment.
The “Boss Hogg” mentality is alive and well in a State that is bankrupt politically and economically. Alabama seeks to try and balance its books on the backs of unsuspecting travelers, much as the “Stagecoach Robbers” did in the 19th century.
Travelers should detour around the State of Alabama. In the long run your trip will be safer. Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia all have much better infrastructure, and you WILL save money.
Ride Safe and Watch out for the thieves that now wear badges
This is the response received from Col. Hugh B. McCall, Alabama's DPS
The Alabama Department of Public Safety’s mission is to protect and serve Alabama's residents -- and visitors -- equally and objectively, enforce state laws and uphold the constitutions of the United States and State of Alabama. Department employees are dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for the public by developing and implementing programs to:
- reduce the number and severity of crashes through enforcement and education.
- enhance traffic safety by examining driver applicants, issuing driver licenses, maintaining driving records and removing driving privileges when necessary.
- curtail criminal activity by initiating investigations, providing investigative assistance to other agencies and apprehending criminals.
- educate Alabamians -- targeting school-aged children, in particular -- regarding all aspects of motor vehicle and traffic safety, drug abuse prevention, crime prevention and other public safety issues.
- preserve life and protect property by responding to natural disasters, riots and other emergencies to provide needed services in a timely manner.
- serve the public with courtesy, professionalism and in fairness to all.
This department enforces Alabama traffic laws as they relate to construction zones and speed limits, but it has no direct connection to either. Both construction zones and speed limit signs fall under the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). You mentioned “fake” construction zones being used as speed traps. We are not aware of any “fake” construction zones, but you may want to report such spots to Tony W. Harris, ALDOT’s government relations manager. His office number is 334-242-6552. His work email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He also could explain how locations are selected for speed limit signs.
In addition, you may want to visit www.dot.state.al.us as well as http://aldotapps.dot.state.al.us/ConstructionBulletin. You will find ongoing information about highway improvements across the state – complete with project details, length of projects, benefits, maps and cameras at certain locations. You also will find construction schedules, work zone driving tips and the expected impact on motorists.
Finally, I bring up your concern after witnessing a string of stopped vehicles along Interstate 65. As state troopers, we are tasked with enforcing the law and promoting highway safety. When motorists break Alabama’s traffic laws, they should expect to be stopped. Our goal at Public Safety is not to raise revenue but to raise awareness and to promote safety on our highways.
Col. Hugh B. McCall
Director, Alabama Department of Public Safety
Follow up questions posed to Col. McCall
- The Director states that it is the ALDOT that determines the speed limits and extent of construction zones. Does the Department "take advantage" of that designation even though there is no actual construction being conducted?
- Does the Director realize that there are areas where construction has long been completed and yet the Construction Zones remain in place?
- Are Multi-car assemblage of State Troopers at particular exits the norm in the State of Alabama?
- If the answer to question 3 is "yes" then does that assemblage deteriorate the Department's stated missions in other parts of the State of Alabama, or is the State of Alabama so flush with Troopers as such assemblage has no effect on the described mission of the Department?
- Who determines the enforcement tolerance and what measures are used to determine the accuracy of the instruments involved recognizing that most vehicles speedometers have an error factor that approaches 10% in some situations?
- Is the public's voluntary compliance with speed laws of tantamount importance?
- Do arbitrary and capricious speed limit determinations contribute to an attitude ofcontempt for such laws?
- What do you suppose the traveling public thinks when it sees a multitude of patrol cars at an exit or median and/or with a string of "alleged violators" pulled over?
- Does the director really expect this reporter to accept the notion that revenue enhancement for the State coffers is not an underlying motive?