The 10th annual Hands Across the Border event is being held during the week of August 27-31, 2001, as a way for Florida, Georgia, and Alabama law enforcement officers to promote strict enforcement of safety belt, child restraint, speed, and DUI laws prior to the beginning of the Labor Day holiday. Officers from law enforcement agencies across these three states rally at welcome centers along the states’ borders to remind citizens that traffic safety is critical on crowded holiday roadways. Last year in Florida, 32 persons were killed during the four-day Labor Day holiday. 72% of those killed were not utilizing available occupant restraint systems in their vehicles. In addition, 40% of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related.
Major Ken Howes and Georgia State Patrol Sergeant Carl Taylor are shown renewing their respective agency's commitment toward reducing traffic fatalities during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Officers from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, and the Motor Carrier Compliance Office of the Florida Department of Transportation participated in the event.
In the kickoff event for the 10th annual "Hands Across the Border", Florida Highway Patrol, Troop A, Commander, Major Randy Brown welcomes Captain Oscar Kyles, Troop G, Commander, Alabama State Troopers to the State of Florida.
The event begins a weeklong series of similar "handshakes" in which officers from state, city and county agencies focus their attention on safe driving and encourages law enforcement agencies from both states to be alert and prepare for the upcoming Labor Day Holiday weekend.
In 2000, more than 524,000 Floridians were involved in traffic crashes. Of those who were not buckled up, nearly 50 percent were injured or killed. Currently, only 69.5% of Floridians wear their safety belt.
Florida trooper, Mike Cagle shakes the hand
of Georgia trooper, Lt. Joe Daniels, Assistant Troop H
commander, at the Florida welcome center on I-75.
The week’s events concluded on Friday at the final ceremony at the Florida welcome center on I-95 at the Florida-Georgia Line. Pictured below is FHP Lt. Bill Leeper as he shakes the hand of Lt. Jennings of GSP.