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TAKE BACK OUR HIGHWAYS

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Florida Troopers from Pensacola and Alabama Troopers from Baldwin County
Florida Troopers from Pensacola and Alabama Troopers from Baldwin County.

During the week of July 27 through July 31, 2009, the Florida Highway Patrol’s Northern Region teamed up with the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Georgia State Patrol for a joint initiative to reduce traffic fatalities while increasing safety. FHP increased patrols on the roads throughout this region as a part of the multi-state safety campaign called “Take Back Our Highways.” The campaign includes Alabama and her border states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.

During the week-long enforcement period, FHP used all available personnel, including members of its Aviation Section, Contraband Interdiction teams and Special Programs, as well as Auxiliary and Reserve troopers to focus on aggressive drivers, impaired drivers, speeders, and drivers who fail to buckle up.

Florida/Alabama Checkpoint
Florida/Alabama Checkpoint

Alabama Troopers at equipment check  In Jackson County
Alabama Troopers at equipment check In Jackson County.

Florida Troopers at equipment check  in Jackson County
Florida Troopers at equipment check in Jackson County.

Along the Alabama border there were a total of three joint equipment checks and one joint roadside sobriety checkpoint. Alabama and Florida troopers worked together in a combined effort at these locations. There was also an intensified enforcement effort on Interstate 10 along the Alabama / Florida border with high visibility. The Contraband Interdiction teams participated in an intensified enforcement effort and made several drug arrests and seizures.

Florida Troopers from Pensacola and Alabama Troopers from Baldwin County
FHP Major Allen and GSP Captain Phillips look over the safety check operational plan.

Interstate 10 Detail
Interstate 10 Detail

FHP troopers stop vehicles on US-1 at the Georgia state line.
FHP troopers stop vehicles on US-1 at the Georgia state line.

FHP and the Georgia State Patrol conducted a first-of-its-kind joint agency driver license and vehicle inspection checkpoint at the Florida/Georgia state line in Boulogne, Florida and south of Folkston, Georgia. Recognizing the danger presented to the public by defective vehicle equipment, troopers from FHP and GSP concentrated their efforts on vehicles with defects such as bad brakes, worn tires and defective lighting equipment. In addition, troopers directed their attention to drivers who were in violation of the driver license laws in Florida and Georgia.

Florida Troopers at DUI checkpoint
Florida Troopers at DUI checkpoint

Contraband Interdiction Drug Seizure
Contraband Interdiction Drug Seizure

Alabama Trooper DUI checkpoint
Alabama Trooper DUI checkpoint

Initial reports indicate that Take Back Our Highways led to 5,421 traffic stops in North Florida, to include:

  • 2,059 for speeding
  • 833 for safety belt and car seat violations
  • 177 for careless driving

The Patrol stopped 294 drivers who were driving without a valid driver license, and 194 who had license plate violations. In addition, FHP arrested 58 people on drug charges and 62 who had warrants for their arrest. Additionally, troopers handed out thousands of informational flyers to educate motorists on the hazards of distracted driving as part of a statewide awareness campaign.

This enforcement effort along with the positive media coverage should positively influence driving behavior. The goal is to create a safer driving envirornment for the motoring public. FHP looks forward to more joint operations in the future.

 

 
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