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Major Ernesto Duarte
Office of Public Affairs

For Release May 11, 2004:

Tallahassee - Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced plans for a statewide “commercial vehicle” enforcement operation, scheduled for May 13-14, 2004. This enforcement initiative is the second phase of Operation Safe Ride, which features varying traffic enforcement themes on a statewide basis. The initial phase of Operation Safe Ride was conducted February 26–27, 2004, in response to a growing concern over aggressive drivers and incidents of road rage throughout Florida. Operation Safe Ride will be conducted in all ten FHP field troops throughout the state.

"Based on an increasing number of complaints we have received from the public concerning commercial vehicle traffic violations, as well as a number of significant crashes involving large trucks, our troopers are being directed to strongly focus their collective enforcement efforts on commercial vehicle violations,” said Colonel Knight. “As with past statewide efforts, we have asked our ten Troop Commanders throughout the state to dedicate every resource available to identify and cite, or in some cases, arrest individuals who are placing other motorists at risk as a result of commercial vehicle violations," Knight added. FHP troopers will be looking for commercial motor vehicles that exceed the posted speed limit, follow too closely/tailgate, change lanes and/or pass improperly, violate lane restrictions, and commit other traffic violations.

All available FHP personnel will participate in Operation Safe Ride, including troopers and supervisors normally assigned to non-patrol functions. Commercial motor vehicles, especially those exhibiting aggressive driving behavior, will be tracked using radar, Vascar, video cameras in some areas, motorcycles, and unmarked patrol vehicles. Troopers piloting FHP aircraft will also be used during daylight hours to spot aggressive commercial motor vehicle drivers from the air and then direct troopers on the ground to pull them over and initiate appropriate enforcement action. Enforcement efforts will be focused on every interstate, Florida's turnpike, and other major state roads in Florida where commercial motor vehicle aggressive driving is prevalent.

The Patrol is planning to deploy Operation Safe Ride throughout the rest of the year with a different selective enforcement theme scheduled each time, depending on specific enforcement needs.

 


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