Chief Jim Howell
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release August 28, 2003:
TALLAHASSEE: As many as 200 additional uniformed Florida Highway Patrol officers may be on patrol during the Labor Day holiday, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 30, 2003. The official holiday period will end at midnight, Monday, September 1, 2003. Thirty-two (32) people are expected to die in traffic crashes during the official 72-hour holiday period, based on fatality experience during the five previous Labor Day holidays from 1998-2002.
As in the past, Colonel Chris Knight, FHP Director, has suspended office operations for all sworn personnel, effective at the close of the workday on Thursday, August 28th. All FHP sworn personnel normally assigned to administrative duties will be reassigned to patrol duties beginning Friday, August 29th, through Monday, September 1st. “Even though the official holiday period is only Saturday through Monday, many people will be traveling on Friday to visit family and friends,” said Colonel Knight.
“The increased visibility that our Troopers have provided during previous holiday periods has provided immeasurable benefits to the motoring public. By having all FHP sworn personnel perform patrol duties Friday through Monday, we will continue our commitment to highway safety through increased visibility and enforcement,” Knight added
During last year’s 96-hour Labor Day holiday, 42 persons were killed in traffic crashes in Florida: 65% of those drivers and passengers who were killed in vehicles normally equipped with safety belts were not using them; also, 45% of the fatal traffic crashes were alcohol-related. Troopers will be concentrating their enforcement efforts on drunk, speeding, and aggressive drivers, and those who fail to buckle up or properly restrain their child passengers.
Motorists are again being encouraged to call *FHP (*347) on their cellular phone to report drunk, aggressive, or other dangerous drivers. 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.
2003 Labor Day Holiday fatality statistics.
2002 Labor Day Holiday fatality statistics.