About 40 officers from a dozen different agencies attended a training seminar at Talladega City Hall on conducting safe and legal traffic stops and road blocks.

The training was sponsored by the Talladega Police Department, the East Alabama Highway Traffic Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The class consisted of legal updates, officer safety, officer survival and observation of motorist driving habits,” according to Talladega Police training coordinator Lt. Alan Kelly. “Officers from Talladega, Talladega County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Anniston, Argo, Pell City, Clay County, Lincoln, Piedmont, Lafayette, Auburn, Moody and Bibb County attended the training.”

Friday’s class was part of a series of state and national events designed to reduce the number of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities on the road. Previous campaigns have focused on drunk driving, texting and driving, seatbelts and speeding.

“This is a critical law enforcement program that can save lives. This (is an) opportunity to host a class to help protect and save the lives of the very ones the public depends on to protect them and save their lives,” Kelly said. “As another blitz campaign is just around the corner, we want to continue to educate, communicate, serve and protect the public.”

According to a press release, NHTA data show that during the July 4 holiday weekend from 2008 to 2012, 765 people were killed in accidents involving a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more. “These fatalities account for 40 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period. Looking at the statistics in 2012 alone, 179 people were killed in crashes over the holiday period. Of those deaths, 44 percent were in crashes that involved alcohol.”

Kelly added, “We are thankful for the opportunity to host the class and were fortunate to have Melinda Cooper as our regional coordinator (for EAHTSO) and Alex Gonzales (as) our NHTSA instructor for the class. We are always passing statistics from the NHTSA to the public about the crashes, injuries and deaths, (but) we as officers also need to place a focus on the statistics of officers that become part of those statistics serving and protecting the citizens.”

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.