Florida Law Enforcement Targets Reckless Drivers and Speeders Across the State

Both state and local law enforcement in five states, including Florida, will conduct a week-long awareness campaign from July 17 to 22.

TAMPA, Florida. Florida law enforcement is now in its sixth year of joining forces with other states to reduce reckless driving and speeding.

During a press conference Monday in Tampa, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Transportation leaders announced “Operation Southern Slow Down,” a collective effort to stem the rise in the number of drivers traveling at speeds well above the legal limit.

This operation brings together the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and several southeastern states, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Both state and local law enforcement agencies in all states, including Florida, will host a week-long awareness campaign on speed enforcement from July 17 to 22.

“The mission of the campaign is to save lives and prevent reckless driving and speeding in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee,” a press release about the operation explains in part.

FHP’s Sergeant Steve Gaskins explained last week’s speeding incident in which a car sped to 161 mph on Interstate 275 near Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.

“This is completely unacceptable,” he said. “This kind of behavior eventually leads to failures…[and] deaths.”

A driver convicted of speeding faces a fine of more than $1,000, the traffic police said in a statement.

According to FDOT District 7 Secretary David Gwynn, PE, drivers should make sure they slow down and do everything in their power to drive safely. Here are some tips from Gwynn for drivers:

  • Drive at a safe speed
  • Fasten your seat belts
  • Do not drive while intoxicated or distracted

Looking at FHP’s 2023 statewide accident statistics, there were 196,355 accidents in the Sunshine State between January 1 and July 7.

In all accidents, 1,688 people died and 125,530 were injured.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of crashes:

  • Total fatal accidents: 1577
  • Total accidents with injuries: 81 596
  • Total bicycle accidents: 4097
  • Total cycling deaths: 109
  • Total motorcycle accidents: 4938
  • Total motorcycle deaths: 290
  • Total accidents involving pedestrians: 4983
  • Total dead pedestrians: 367
  • Total collisions with collisions: 52 567
  • Total deaths due to collision: 132
  • Total collision damage: 11 420

An 18-year-old teenager was recently arrested in Tampa for speeding on an interstate highway, resulting in a high-speed law enforcement chase.

The chase began around 4:30 a.m. on Interstate 4 at the Interstate 75 interchange.

It was estimated that the driver of the SUV was traveling at over 100 miles per hour and continued to walk away from the soldier.

The high speed chase continued onto Interstate 275 where the driver was reportedly traveling at 96 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The serviceman eventually stopped next to the SUV and successfully performed a PIT maneuver, causing the SUV to turn around and land on the Interstate shoulder.

“When motorists choose to drive at dangerous speeds on our roads, they needlessly expose themselves and other road users to deadly consequences,” said FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations Will N. Watts, Jr., PE, in a statement. .

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