FLHSMV, FHP Urge Motorists to Prepare for Safe Summer Travel
~ This summer, be sure to check your tires, obey all posted speed limits and never leave children and pets unattended in a motor vehicle. ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is launching its Safe Summer Travel Campaign, reminding motorists to plan ahead and prepare for safe travel this summer. With residents and visitors starting to venture out more on Florida’s roadways, FLHSMV and its Division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are partnering with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association and AAA – The Auto Club Group to help ensure all travelers Arrive Alive.
“This summer, your safety is of utmost importance. Take time to make sure your vehicle is travel ready before your trip, and remember, no matter how eager you are to get to your destination, speeding and driving aggressively is against the law and extremely dangerous,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Whether it’s a day trip or a long overdue road trip, remember to slow down, stay cool and be safe.”
In June and July 2019, there were 120,336 citations issued for unlawful speed. Obeying speed limits and not driving aggressively improves safety by reducing the probability and severity of crashes. All motorists must obey speed limits and are responsible for knowing the speed limit on the roadway. Driving slowly and carefully also ensures you have plenty of time to stop in a situation with vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and bicyclists. In Florida, the speed limit will never be higher than 70 mph.
“As summer arrives, FHP Troopers remain committed to public safety,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Your family is precious cargo, so please ensure your vehicle is well maintained and you allow sufficient time to arrive at your destination safely.”
Throughout June and July, FLHSMV is joined by its campaign partners to educate Floridians on all aspects of vehicle and driving safety during the busy summer months.
“As Florida continues to reopen and more vehicles are on the road, it is up to each of us to practice safe driving habits so everyone can arrive at their summer destination safely,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “FDOT is proud to partner with FLHSMV to remind motorists to travel safely this summer.“
Motorists are reminded to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time. The inside of a vehicle can heat by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and cracking a window open does little to keep the vehicle cool. There have been four child heat stroke deaths in the United States in 2020, one of which occurred in Florida, claiming the life of a 10-month-old baby girl. Since 1998, 93 child heatstroke deaths have occurred in Florida, more than any other state except Texas.
“Now more than ever, families may feel an impulse to get away, ‘unplug,’ and spend quality time together,” said Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell. “While the summer months are an ideal time to have fun and make lasting memories, they’re also conducive to tragedies like drowning and heatstroke. Parents and caregivers are reminded to be vigilant around pools and other bodies of water (designating a Water Watcher is often helpful) and never leave their children alone in hot cars. These precautions will help keep families happy and safe all summer long.”
“The number one priority for the Police Chiefs in the state of Florida is to create a safe environment for our citizens and visitors. You can help us by ensuring that your vehicle has been properly serviced before hitting the road for travel,” said Chief Kenneth Albano, Temple Terrace Police Department and President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Driving a vehicle that is road ready, avoiding aggressive driving, and exercising courteous driving helps save lives. Always remember to never leave children or pets in an unattended vehicle, the consequences can be deadly.”
“As we begin to recover from our recent challenges, we will once again welcome guests and tourists to our great state for the summer increasing both the local and state-wide traffic. While we return to normal please drive safely and considerately. On behalf of our Florida Sheriffs, I fully endorse the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Safe Summer Travel campaign,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association.
“Please stay safe as we all get back on the road this Summer,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Be patient with other drivers and vigilant that you don’t ever leave children or pets unattended in your car.”
FLHSMV reminds motorists to follow this critical Safe Summer Travel Checklist:
- Slow down, stay cool. Obey all posted speed limits. Speeding and driving aggressively increases the probability and severity of a crash.
- Check all tires, including the spare. As a vehicle’s first line of defense, tires should be routinely inspected and maintained to ensure they are in good condition. Check the vehicle’s tire pressure and ensure the vehicle’s tires have adequate tire tread. Under-inflated tires can overheat. Never overload a vehicle; it can result in premature tire wear, blowouts and hydroplaning.
- NEVER leave children or pets in vehicles unattended. Summer can be incredibly hot in Florida and leaving children or pets unattended for even a short time can be deadly. Make sure all passengers are accounted for when exiting the vehicle.
- Register emergency contact information. In the event of an emergency, make sure law enforcement knows who to call. The FLHSMV allows all driver license and ID card holders to register up to two designated emergency contacts. Log on to flhsmv.gov/eci to register or update contacts.
- Prepare for driving in inclement weather. Summer is hurricane season in Florida, and along with an increased number of wildfires, drivers should be aware of changing weather and road conditions. Drivers should know their evacuation routes, check road closures and call *FHP to report unsafe road conditions.
- Check for recalls. Always make sure your vehicle is in peak condition to travel. Check for recalls before hitting the road at safercar.gov.
- Drive Sober. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver or call a ride service. Report impaired drivers by dialing *FHP (*347) or 911.
For a more detailed, downloadable checklist, visit flhsmv.gov/summertravel.
The public is encouraged to report aggressive or impaired drivers by dialing *FHP (*347) or 911 and check traffic conditions before departing for their trip. For more information, real time traffic conditions and additional travel information, visit: flhsmv.gov/summertravel.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. FLHSMV is leading the way to A Safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.