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Local, state law enforcement agencies stressing safe travel over holiday weekend

By Staff | Nov 23, 2011

Local and state law enforcement agencies are stepping up their enforcement during the long holiday weekend, a peak travel period when millions of Floridians are hitting the roadways.

The Florida Highway Patrol is using auxiliary and reserve troopers to augment increased patrol efforts, looking for impaired drivers, speeding and motorists who are driving aggressively or following too closely to other drivers.

“Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely. Drive sober and buckle up each and every trip,” said Col. David Brierton, FHP Director. “The holidays are a time for celebration but we cannot forget safety behind the wheel.”

Safety tips from the FHP include:

– Get plenty of rest before traveling, as well as allow plenty of time to reach your destination

– Observe and obey all speed limits

– Eliminate distractions including talking on cell phones, texting or eating, to name a few

– Prepare your vehicle for travel

– Dive sober and wear your seat belt at all times

And speaking of seat belts, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is reminding drivers there is zero tolerance for seat belt violations.

According to a LCSO press release, all front seat passengers must be buckled in, including children ages 6-18.

The driver is held responsible for passengers under the age of 18 who are not buckled up, while passengers 18 years or older can be fined individually if not buckled in.

Penalties for seat belt violations are $109, plus other legal assessments, according to the press release.

In addition, infants should never ride in the front seat and children under 3 must be secured in a separate carrier. Drivers are responsible buckling up each child in the car.

According to the press release, use of seat belts reduces the risk of moderate to critical injury up to 50 percent.

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles at www.flhsmv.com, or the Lee County Sheriff’s website at www.sheriffleefl.org.