Sheriff's office launches campaign to reduce traffic accidents
Featured Video Sheriff's office launches campaign to reduce traffic accidents

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SARASOTA COUNTY - There have been nearly 6,000 traffic crashes in Sarasota County so far this year and 40 deaths. The number of deaths is higher than for all of last year. That's why the Sarasota Sheriff's Office is rolling out a traffic safety campaign to change that statistic.
Authorities say the campaign is to remind all drivers of the rules of the road while they're behind the wheel.
Sergeant Debbie Kasper gets behind the wheel every day for work. "We have a lot of opportunity to watch and monitor traffic." And over the years she's seen too many traffic accidents to count. "From young people to older, it's everybody...lack of knowledge and understanding."
In the first 15 minutes of riding along with Sergeant Kasper, that's exactly what we saw, too. "A motorcycle was involved the driver was Bayflited." Fortunately the driver is going to be ok.
But for others, that's not always the case, with this year already surpassing the total number of traffic deaths last year. "We don't know why more people are dying in the crashes, but even one traffic fatality is one too many. So we want to educate drivers to pay more close attention to what they're doing. We will all benefit," says Wendy Rose with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is using new radio ads to reach drivers. "Green means go and red means stop...basic rules that even children understand."
The three public service announcements include: "Back To Basics", which tells drivers to slow down, stop for red lights and avoid being distracted by electronics; "Move Over", which explains the law requiring drivers to move over or slow down when emergency vehicles with flashing lights are on the side of the road; and "365-TAGS", which is a non-emergency hotline that allows motorists to report dangerous drivers.
Sergeant Kasper says these are reminders free of charge, but a ticket won't be. "Our mission is to make them aware of traffic laws...slow down, pay attention to your surroundings, be cautious; you have to be a defensive driver."