Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release May 24, 2007:
Tallahassee - The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a Division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), will be out in force during the 96-hour Memorial Day holiday weekend, which begins on Friday, May 25, 2007, and extends through midnight, Monday, May 28, 2007. The Florida Highway Patrol will participate in three distinct traffic enforcement operations during this period: Operation C.A.R.E. (a Combined Accident Reduction Effort, involving all 50 state police and highway patrol organizations); All-American Buckle Up Week (May 21-28); and the highly publicized Click It or Ticket mobilization campaign (May 21 - June 3). All three campaigns focus on saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing property damage associated with motor vehicle traffic crashes.
During last year’s Memorial Day holiday period, 54 people were killed in 51 traffic crashes; of these, 54 percent were alcohol-related crashes. In addition, 63 percent of those killed in vehicles normally equipped with seat belts were not wearing seat belts.
“The Memorial Day holiday weekend traditionally signals the start of the summer driving period. Many families pack up their vehicles and head out of town to experience Florida’s attractions, beaches and vacation spots. The Click It or Ticket mobilization campaign is designed to get motorists to make seat belt usage a habit,” stated Electra Bustle, Executive Director for DHSMV. “The Click it or Ticket campaign is an important component of our agency’s Memorial Day holiday enforcement efforts. It helps us save lives and prevent unnecessary injuries on our roadways,” said Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Florida troopers will also be on the look out for drivers involved in violations of a dangerous nature, such as speeding, red light running, or driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs,” added Colonel Knight.
All uniformed FHP personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, will be 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 to provide enhanced service to motorists who break down while traveling or need other assistance.
Motorists are reminded to use their cellular phones safely. FHP urges motorists with cell phones to call *FHP (*347) to report aggressive and/or drunk drivers or if they need assistance on the road. Motorists needing emergency services should dial 911. DHSMV encourages all with a valid Florida Driver License or Identification Card to visit www.flhsmv.gov and input their Emergency Contact Information.