Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release December 14, 2005:
Tallahassee - Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, announced today the FHP's statewide traffic enforcement plans for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. FHP will implement zero tolerance enforcement strategies targeting D.U.I., unlawful speed, aggressive driving and hazardous violations throughout the state. The FHP is also urging motorists to be mindful and considerate of pedestrians and bicyclists who are walking and riding within the public right-of-way.
This year’s Christmas holiday period will begin at 00:01 hours on Saturday, December 24, 2005, and end at midnight, Monday, December 26, 2005. The New Year holiday period will run from 00:01 hours on Saturday, December 31, 2005, and end at midnight, Monday, January 2, 2006. Last year, 33 persons were killed in 32 traffic crashes during the 72-hour Christmas holiday period. Also, 38 people were killed in 36 traffic crashes during the 72-hour New Year holiday.
As in the past, Colonel Knight has suspended office operations for all sworn personnel effective at the close of the workday on Thursday, December 22 and December 29, 2005. All FHP sworn personnel normally assigned to administrative duties will be reassigned to patrol duties on interstates, major state roads, and Florida’s turnpike throughout both holiday periods.
Additionally, the FHP will be expanding enforcement operations during the Christmas and New Year holidays in an effort to identify and arrest impaired drivers as part of Florida’s You Drink and Drive. You Lose. D.U.I. enforcement crackdown, which began Saturday, December 10, and concludes Sunday, January 1, 2006.
Motorists are urged to contact the FHP or local law enforcement officials when reporting an impaired, aggressive, or dangerous driver by simply dialing *FHP (*347) from a cellular phone. Callers can remain anonymous. Motorists who experience car trouble and are in need of assistance are also encouraged to use *FHP. For real-time traffic and road condition reports, as well as maps and other safety tips, please visit the FHP website at www.flhsmv.gov/fhp.
Florida drivers can also call 511 for the latest updates on traffic jams, road construction, lane closures, severe weather and travel times on interstates and major highways.