Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release Wednesday, December 29, 1999
TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Charles C. "Curt" Hall, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced some specific enforcement, service, and protection strategies that will be implemented throughout the state in an effort to reduce traffic deaths and injuries, and calm the traveling motoristís fears during the New Year holiday period. The 72-hour holiday period will begin Friday, December 31, 1999, and end at midnight, Sunday, January 2, 2000.
This holiday, FHP has planned 473 traffic enforcement operations throughout the state. Last year, 29 persons were killed in traffic crashes during the New Year holiday. "The real tragedy is that 88% or 15 of the 17 drivers/occupants that were riding in vehicles normally equipped with safety belts were killed because the safety belts were not in use at the time of the crash," said Colonel Hall. As 1999 draws to a close, over 2,700 people (7.5 per day) have been killed and close to 227,000 people have been injured in traffic crashes in Florida.
"References to the effect of the Y2K phenomenon and the necessity for law enforcement services may range from minor requests to a major large scale police response. Iíve asked our troop commanders to be sure that all available personnel are assigned to either routine patrol duties or specific enforcement operations during this once-in-a-lifetime holiday period," Colonel Hall stressed. For this millennium holiday, FHP will have unprecedented statewide staffing available to respond to any need. Leave for all uniformed members of the FHP has been cancelled between December 27, 1999, and January 9, 2000.
Other specific plans that will be implemented throughout the Patrolís ten field troops include:
All troops are scheduling DUI sobriety checkpoints, speed enforcement details, and seat belt enforcement operations during the holiday period.
DUI Suppression Teams will be targeting drunk drivers and other hazardous moving violations, as well as drivers who exhibit aggressive driving characteristics.
Covert radar operations, aircraft, unmarked patrol cars, and speed measuring awareness radar trailers (SMART) will be used during daylight hours to reduce unlawful speed violations.
FHP Auxiliary and Reserve troopers will be volunteering their time to assist regular troopers during the holidays by participating in sobriety checkpoint operations, operating marked patrol vehicles in limited scope patrols on interstates and other major roadways, and riding with troopers on routine patrols.