Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
TALLAHASSEE - Colonel Christopher A. Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, issued a stern traffic enforcement warning today for the holiday travel period. Zero tolerance enforcement strategies will be implemented throughout the state in an effort to reduce traffic deaths and injuries during the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holiday periods. The 96-hour Christmas holiday period will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2001, and end at midnight, Tuesday, December 25, 2001. The 96-hour New Year's holiday period will run from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 29, 2001, through midnight, Tuesday, January 1, 2002.
According to the latest statistics, Florida continues to experience an increase in traffic deaths. "As of today, 19 more people have died on Florida's roadways this year than at the same time in 2000. Hopefully, continued strict enforcement and high visibility will help to end this year with less than the 2999 fatalities that occurred in 2000," Colonel Knight said. Last year, 9 persons were killed each day in traffic crashes during the Christmas holiday; 8 people per day died during New Years, which equates to a total of 68 people dying in traffic crashes over the holiday periods." Our troopers will focus on the most frequent causes of fatalities during this holiday season - driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, excessive speed and failure to use occupant restraints. We urge motorists to buckle up, obey speed limits, and to refrain from drinking and driving, which are three simple actions that may save your life," added Colonel Knight.
This year, the FHP is supporting the "TOW TO GO" campaign. The program is a partnership between Budweiser, AAA of Florida, and law enforcement to encourage safe rides home for the holiday season. The program offers adults who choose to drink alcoholic beverages a free ride home and a free tow of their vehicle. "TOW TO GO" is very simple to use; adults needing a ride home from bars, restaurants, or home parties may simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP. AAA will dispatch a tow truck and will take both the driver and the vehicle home free of charge. This service is available to everyone, both AAA members and non-members. The TTG program will be available through January 1, 2002.
Motorists equipped with cellular telephones are encouraged to report DUI, aggressive drivers, and other highway emergencies on their cellular telephone by dialing *FHP (*347); doing so will connect the caller to the closest Florida Highway Patrol office. The call is toll-free.