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Troopers to focus on belts, booze,
during 4th of July holiday

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Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol

For Release Thursday, July 1, 1999

TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Charles C. Hall, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced traffic enforcement plans for the 96-hour 4th of July holiday period that will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 2nd and extend through midnight Monday, July 5, 1999. Last year, at least 19 persons were killed in traffic crashes throughout Florida during a 72-hour holiday period. At least 70% of those killed last year in vehicles normally equipped with safety belts were not using their belts; and at least 33% of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related.

State troopers throughout Florida will concentrate their enforcement efforts on two violations that are responsible for the majority of traffic deaths: (1) driving under the influence of alcohol, and (2) safety belt/child restraint laws. DUI checkpoints have been planned for the following counties during the holiday weekend: Pinellas, Orange, Lee, Jefferson, Duval, St. Lucie, Broward, and Okaloosa. Also, DUI selective enforcement patrols, also known as "wolfpacks", are planned for the following areas: Pinellas Park, Tampa, Lakeland, Cocoa, DeLand, Arcadia, Ft. Pierce, Davie, West Palm Beach, Lake City, Putnam County, Madison County, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and the Florida Turnpike.

"Drunk drivers and motorists who refuse to comply with Florida’s occupant restraint laws are causing too many traffic deaths in this state, so as a result, they will be targeted," said Colonel Hall. FHP troopers have "zero tolerance" for DUI and safety belt/child restraint violations, meaning that no excuses are accepted. "Based on the results of our recent statewide driver opinion survey, I have also asked troopers to place additional emphasis on aggressive drivers and unlawful speed violations," added Hall. Troopers already have aggressive driving enforcement campaigns in place in south Florida and the Tampa Bay area. FHP Commanders in other troops are in the process of developing and implementing similar operations for their areas. Nearly 1,350 persons (over 7 per day) have been killed this year in traffic crashes in Florida, which is slightly above 1998 levels.

FHP officials are asking motorists to report drunk and/or aggressive drivers by 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.


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