Did Drivers Feel Safer Over the Labor Day Weekend?

Alabama State Troopers Report Six Fatal Crashes

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By Jessica Gertler

Alabama State Troopers say six people died on the roadways this Labor Day Weekend. Last year, it was five. Troopers say extra patrols were out last weekend, but did they work?

While the number of fatal accidents troopers investigated went up this year, most of the drivers CBS 8 News spoke with say they did see more patrols on the streets, and in turn, they did feel safer on the roads.

Last Friday, Alabama State Troopers kicked off their safety blitz targeting speeders, tailgaters and drunk drivers.

"A lot, a great amount of police. A whole lot," says driver Brooke Barlow.

And when the Troopers' campaign wrapped up Monday  at midnight, the stats came in.

"Troopers investigated six fatalities this Labor Day Weekend. Last year, we investigated five," says Sgt. Steve Jarrett.

Jarrett says this year, half of the people who died were drinking alcohol, and three were not wearing a seat belt. He says two deaths involved a motorcycle and ATV, and one was a pedestrian.

"If we had not been out there, you would have seen more fatalities," says Jarrett.

Chris Thomas says he was on the roads quite a bit Labor Day Weekend.

"I did [feel safer], because a lot of people we're paying attention. Doing the speed limit," says Thomas.

But other drivers weren't convinced.

"Safer? I don't know about safer," says driver Rodney Mitchell.

And while some drivers like James Gentry say at the time, the road blocks and extra patrols were overkill, looking back he admits, "I'm sure it helped out."

Last year, Jarrett says there were seven other fatal crashes that were investigated by local police not state troopers.  Jarrett says he won't know if other agencies investigated fatal crashes until later this month.

We want to know what you think. Did you feel safer this Labor Day weekend? Head to our CBS 8 News Facebook page, and let us know your thoughts.

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