Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release February 23, 2005:
Tallahassee - Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, announced plans today for an intensified statewide enforcement operation to target unlawful speed violators. “Motorists need to recognize that speeding increases the likelihood of a crash and its severity,” said Colonel Knight. "Our troopers are being directed to strongly focus their collective enforcement efforts on unlawful speed violators, specifically those who pose a danger not only to themselves, but all others around them," Knight added. Troopers will continue to conduct speed and traffic law enforcement as part of their daily enforcement efforts as well as participate in special operations such as this one, which is scheduled for February 24-25, 2005. This enforcement initiative is the fourth phase of Operation Safe Ride, which features varying traffic enforcement themes in response to statewide needs.
The initial phase of Operation Safe Ride was conducted February 26–27, 2004, in response to a growing concern over the frequency of aggressive driving violations throughout Florida. Operation Safe Ride will continue to be conducted in all ten FHP field troops throughout the state. "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," Knight added. FHP troopers will be looking for motorists who exceed the posted speed limit, follow too closely/tailgate, change lanes and/or pass improperly, violate lane restrictions, and commit other hazardous traffic violations. The operation’s goals are to increase motorist compliance of posted speed limits through awareness emphasis on enforcement and education; and to reduce the number of speed-related deaths and injuries in the state.
All available FHP personnel will participate in Operation Safe Ride, including troopers and supervisors normally assigned to non-patrol functions. Unlawful speed violators will be tracked using radar, Vascar, video cameras, motorcycles, and unmarked patrol vehicles. Troopers piloting FHP aircraft will also be used to spot violators 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 speeding and aggressive driving are prevalent.