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Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol

For Release May 20, 2005:

Tallahassee - The 96-hour Memorial Day holiday weekend will begin on Friday, May 27, 2005, and extend through midnight, Monday, May 30, 2005. The Florida Highway Patrol will be participating in three distinct traffic enforcement operations during this period, including Operation C.A.R.E. (a Combined Accident Reduction Effort involving all 50 state police/highway patrol organizations), All-American Buckle Up Week (May 23-30), and the highly publicized Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign (May 23 - June 5). All three campaigns focus on saving lives, preventing injuries and reducing property damage associated with traffic crashes.

During last year’s Memorial Day holiday period, 40 people were killed in 35 fatal traffic crashes. 40% of these fatal traffic crashes were alcohol-related, and 83% of those killed in vehicles normally equipped with safety belts, were unrestrained.

“The Click it or Ticket campaign that our troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and city police officers are participating in has a single goal in mind -to save lives and reduce serious injuries associated with traffic crashes,” emphasized Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Florida’s statistics are clear; getting people buckled up is the single most effective thing that can be done to save lives. Studies have also shown that most adults who don’t buckle up themselves -don’t buckle up their children. In addition, drivers who wear their safety belts are three times more likely to restrain their child passengers. Nationally, more than half of all adults who die in crashes are not buckled up, and six out of ten children who are killed in crashes are unrestrained.

All uniformed FHP personnel normally assigned to administrative duties in the office will be assisting regular troopers by patrolling interstates and other major state roads throughout the four-day holiday period. This strategy is intended to increase the Patrol's presence on major arteries throughout Florida in an effort to deter traffic violators, and also to provide enhanced service to motorists who break down while traveling or need other types of assistance.

Motorists are reminded to use their cellular phones wisely and safely. FHP urges all drivers to call *FHP (*347) to report aggressive and/or drunk drivers, or if they need assistance on the road. Motorists needing emergency medical services should dial 911.


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