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Buckle Up Florida!

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Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol

For Release November 22, 2000

TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Charles C. Hall, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced traffic enforcement plans for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 22, 2000, and ending at midnight Sunday, November 26, 2000. FHP officials are cautioning motorists of the potentially dangerous travel conditions during the 120-hour holiday period. Last year, 41 people were killed in traffic crashes in Florida during the Thanksgiving holiday.

All available troopers and supervisors will be patrolling Interstates, major state roads, and Florida's Turnpike during the holiday weekend, placing special emphasis on drunk drivers, speeders, aggressive drivers, and those who choose to ignore Florida's occupant restraint laws. Radar, aircraft, laser, and unmarked patrol cars will be used throughout the state during the holiday. "Drivers who carelessly change lanes, run red lights, travel at very high speeds, or pass other vehicles on the shoulder, demonstrate the aggressive behavior troopers will targeting," warned Colonel Hall.

In addition, a coalition of 359 county and municipal law enforcement agencies will join FHP troopers throughout Florida during the seventh phase of the Buckle Up Florida! campaign November 18th-26th. This means that 97.8% of all Florida police agencies with traffic enforcement responsibilities and 100% of the Sheriff's agencies are participating in this program. Buckle Up Florida! is an intensified safety belt and child restraint enforcement program designed to increase occupant restraint compliance. State troopers, city police officers, and sheriff's deputies from participating agencies have pledged a "Zero Tolerance" approach to safety belt and child restraint violations during this period. Florida's latest safety belt usage rate, according to the Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office, stand at 65%, about 6 points higher than a year ago.

Motorists equipped with cellular telephones are encouraged to report drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, or any other highway emergencies on their cellular telephone by dialing *FHP (*347).


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