Hoover police prepared for holiday shoppers

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HOOVER – Another season of holiday shopping is here, and Hoover police officers are ready to ensure everyone has a safe and secure experience while they are in the city.

Beginning Thanksgiving Day, additional officers will be on duty as stores start opening for business.

Officers will also maintain a presence in retail areas and will monitor busy intersections through the end of the holiday season.

These officers will operate out of the Hoover Police Mobile Command Center, which will be parked in the Costco parking lot.

During peak times when traffic becomes congested in the retail areas, officers will have the ability to make manual adjustment to the flow of traffic to keep people moving toward their destinations.

Other officers will be patrolling the parking lots of shopping centers and will be on foot inside the stores to provide security for the patrons and retailers.

“The Hoover Police Department is dedicated to doing our part in maintaining our city’s reputation as a premier shopping destination in the state of Alabama,” Crime Prevention Specialist and Public Information Officer Brian Hale said.

Police advised that one major bottleneck is usually the Interstate 459 Galleria flyover onto James Wilson Parkway (the road Costco is on, headed inbound to the Galleria). Keep in mind there are two left turn lanes onto James Wilson Parkway, not just one. Also, remember there are multiple entrances to the Galleria off of Alabama 150 and U.S. 31.

HPD provided tips for driving during the busy holiday season:

-Wear your seatbelt and make sure children are safely buckled in.

-Lights on when raining.

-Reduce distractions inside the vehicle: texting, talking on the phone or to other passengers, changing the stereo, etc. If you need to, pull over into a parking lot to look at the map or finish up a phone call.

-Decrease your speed. Speed limits are set for “ideal” conditions. This means daytime, dry and normal traffic volume. When it is wet, dark, or heavy/congested traffic, reduce your speed no matter what street you are on.

-Don’t tailgate. In ideal conditions, the minimum following distance is 20 feet of distance for every 10 MPH of speed. So, if you are traveling 40 mph, allow 80 feet (or 26.67 yards) of distance between your front bumper and the rear of the vehicle ahead of you.

-Do not drink and drive.

-Be patient. The roads and the traffic lights were made for a certain amount of volume. When this volume gets dramatically increased and parking lots get full, there is only so much that can be done. Police will do their best to manually work the worst intersections. Have patience and officers will try to get you in and out of traffic the best they can.

For more information on safe driving, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at NHTSA.gov.

For holiday shopping safety tips and traffic updates, visit HooverPD.com and follow the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.