Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release March 2, 2006:
TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, announced today the start of the next phase of Operation Safe Ride, a long-term FHP enforcement campaign that focuses on varying traffic themes in response to statewide needs. The operation's goals are: to increase compliance of posted speed limits; and to reduce the overall number of deaths and injuries in Florida.
“Most people today consider unsafe driving by others as a major personal threat to themselves and their families. We know that the majority of the factors that contribute to motor vehicle traffic crashes are mostly behavioral in nature, including speeding. It is therefore imperative that motorists take driving seriously, develop self-initiated strategies that will help them drive less aggressively, learn to share the road, and remember that an attentive driver can avoid a crash,” said Christopher A. Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Notably, this phase of Operation Safe Ride is a component of the “Staying Alive…Just Drive,” public safety campaign, which aims at making Florida’s roads safer. The Just Drive campaign is a collaborative effort between the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
This is the sixth 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. 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.
The Florida Highway Patrol would like to remind everyone to Move Over when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked or a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside.