Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Highway Patrol is issuing a statewide advisory after a recent incident in Palm Beach County concerning a problem with a *FHP (*347) call.
On Saturday, May 5, 2001, at approximately 12 noon, a motorist was southbound on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County when he noticed an erratic driver. According to the motorist, he made three attempts to call *FHP but no one answered the call. The vehicle that the motorist had observed was eventually involved in a crash on I-95. FHP supervisors in South Florida are conducting a review of the incident to include a workload study at the time of the call, duty officer staffing at the time of the call, and whether or not technical difficulties prevented the call from being received at the dispatch center.
Since its inception, *FHP has been credited with helping troopers make numerous arrests and apprehensions. A stolen vehicle in Orlando was recovered; ….carjacking, armed robbery, and armed burglary suspects were apprehended in Hillsborough County; ….a victim of a crash whose car had submerged in a Palm Beach County canal was rescued; ….a felon who had just robbed a 7-11 store in Polk County was arrested; ….and an individual was arrested for stalking, resisting arrest, and DUI after a frantic female motorist called *FHP requesting help. In addition, during the first year of *FHP operation, the Patrol received approximately 30 percent more reports of drunk drivers along with a proportionate increase in apprehensions. These are just a few examples of the many success stories associated with *FHP.
*FHP was launched statewide in April 1994. FHP officials would like to remind motorists that the main purpose of the *FHP line is to report drunk and/or reckless drivers, minor traffic crashes with no injuries, traffic tie-ups, stranded or disabled motorists, or any other non-emergency assistance needed from the Florida Highway Patrol. *FHP was also intended to help reduce the number of non-emergency cellular calls being received in 911 centers throughout Florida. FHP officials are reminding motorists who are in need of Emergency Medical and/or Fire Rescue assistance to utilize the 911 system.
The Florida Highway Patrol is committed to making Florida's roadways safe and encourage the public to continue using *FHP to request non-emergency assistance.