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“Photos posted online of four smiling sisters has taken on a new, tragic meaning in the aftermath of a deadly crash that cost them their lives and left several others seriously injured in a Memorial Day crash on Interstate 95,” according to Florida Today.  The mother of the four young girls was driving the 2006 Dodge Durango when it lost a tire and flipped multiple times as the SUV veered off the highway.

According to investigators, the family and friends in the vehicle were on their way back home after spending the holiday together.  Troopers say eleven people were crammed into the vehicle which typically seats up to eight people, according to car dealers and Kelly Blue Book’s website.  Investigators are still looking into how many of the occupants were wearing seat belts.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to keep you, your family and friends safe on the roadways.  Several laws have been put into place to do just that.  Do you know what they are?  A wide range of areas are covered, including: child car seats, safety belts, cell phone usage, driving under the influence and more.  It’s important you know and abide by all safety laws.  The following information was supplied by the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles:

Child Car Seat Laws

Alabama law requires children of certain ages and sizes to be seated in appropriate child car seats.  Use the following guide from the Alabama Department of Public Safety when buying a child car seat.

  • Up to 1 year old or 20 pounds: A rear-facing, infant-only or convertible seat
  • 1 year old – 5 years old or 40 pounds: A forward-facing car seat
  • 5 years old – 6 years old: A booster seat

*Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s weight and age specifications and recommendations when using a child car seat.

Alabama Seat Belt Laws

If you are in the front seat of a running vehicle, you must wear a safety belt or risk a fine…from the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS).  If you are seated in the back seat, you are NOT required to wear a seat belt unless you are under 15 years old.

According to the Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS), there have been 240 motor vehicle fatalities year-to-date in the State of Alabama.  100 of those were not wearing a seatbelt.

*Only traffic crashes investigated by Alabama State Troopers are included. 

Cell Phone Use

In Alabama, if you are 16 or 17 years old and have only held your license for under 6 months, it is illegal for you to use your cell phone or mobile device at any time while driving.  Regardless of your age, it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving to send or receive:

  • Text messages
  • Instant messages
  • E-mails

According to The Center for Advance Public Safety (CAPS), “In 2014, there were a total of 820 auto accident fatalities in Alabama, and there were 27,665 investigated Alabama accidents. Distracted driving was the primary contributing circumstance of 45 fatal Alabama crashes in 2014 and was the primary contributing circumstance in 8,557 of all Alabama accidents.”

DUIs and Drunk Driving

The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) enforces strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI).  You are not legally allowed to drive a vehicle if you have the following blood alcohol content (BAC) levels:

  • 0.02% or more for anyone under 21 years old
  • 0.02% or more for school bus or daycare drivers
  • 0.08% or more for anyone operating a vehicle
  • 0.04% or more for anyone operating a commercial vehicle

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, more than 30% of all vehicle fatalities were alcohol related.

For more information on Alabama safety laws, please visit