Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Chris Knight, the newly appointed Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced traffic enforcement plans for the 48-hour 4th of July holiday period that will begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 3rd and extend through midnight Wednesday, July 4, 2001. Last year, 36 persons, or more than 7 per day, were killed in traffic crashes throughout Florida during the 120-hour holiday period. Forty six percent of those killed last year in vehicles normally equipped with safety belts were not using their belts; and at least 29% of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related.
"State troopers throughout Florida will concentrate their enforcement efforts by returning to the Patrol's primary mission of speed enforcement and DUI apprehension," said Colonel Knight. The FHP has planned 39 DUI wolf pack patrols and 158 speed enforcement details during the holiday period. "By concentrating on these enforcement initiatives, troopers will also be able to maintain their zero tolerance stance regarding seat belt/child restraint violations and closely monitor motorists who exhibit aggressive driving behaviors," continued Colonel Knight.
Motorists could expect some travel delays due to heavy traffic on the day prior and the day following the holiday. FHP also encourages drivers to give their vehicle's tires, belts and hoses a visual inspection prior to leaving home. Also, it is recommended to drive during daylight hours if possible and take periodic rest breaks to ward off fatigue.
The Florida Highway Patrol urges all drivers to use their cellular phones wisely and safely. FHP recommends the following safety tips to all motorists:
- Purchase and use a "Hands-Free" kit
- Utilize speed dial features
- Pull off the road into a safe/well lit parking area when talking
- Allow passengers in the vehicle to answer or dial
- Let the call be answered by voice mail and return the call later
FHP officials are asking motorists for assistance by reporting drunk and/or aggressive drivers by safely dialing *FHP (a free call) from their cellular phone. Callers can remain anonymous. Motorists who experience car trouble on the highway or otherwise need assistance from the FHP are also encouraged to use *FHP.