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FDOT cracks down on aggressive driving
Updated: Sunday, 18 Oct 2009, 7:22 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 18 Oct 2009, 7:22 AM EDT
TAMPA - On any given day, law enforcement officers wake up knowing they may face danger, but on the road is the last place you might think they'd find it.
"I think sometimes we're more scared of being hit by vehicles as highway patrol than we are of getting into maybe a shooting or something to that extent," according to Sgt. Larry Kraus with Florida Highway Patrol.
For troopers, the highway can be a dangerous place, but no one is immune to aggressive or unsafe driving. Sunday The Florida Department of Transportation kicks off a week long effort to crack down on unsafe driving in an attempt to make the roads a little safer.
"The last thing you want to do is lose your loved one in a traffic crash because someone did not take the time to be responsible in their vehicles," adds Kraus.
Law enforcement will also be looking for people who violate Florida's "Move Over Law". The law requires drivers to move out of the way when they see a stopped emergency vehicle on the road. One driver's failure to do that nearly cost Trooper Rhonda Hendree her life. She was hit during a traffic stop last year.
"It still bothers me today. I don't have a day that I don't have pain. Basically, it's totally changed my life," explained Hendree.
The Department of Transportation says last year alone more than 200,000 people were injured in car accidents in Florida. Many of those accidents were specifically caused by unsafe or aggressive driving and that's exactly why they're going to spend this week targeting those drivers.
Last year a similar campaign organized by FHP targeted unsafe and aggressive drivers right around the holidays when tensions and speeds can increase. A year later, they're still at it.
"I would say it's probably gotten a little better, but it could get a lot better," according to Kraus.
The campaign kicks off Sunday and runs through next Saturday. The DOT says officers will be in both marked and unmarked cars. Tickets for a moving violation start at about $165 and go up from there depending on what county you live in and what the violation is.