Holiday Fatalities

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It's becoming a familiar scene in Bay County around the 4th of July holiday weekend: more people, more cars and more traffic accidents. FHP officials want drivers to slow down and use caution.

Ron Hunley of FHP said, "The beach is not going anywhere. It's been here since I was child."

Tens of thousands of people will visit the emerald coast over the holiday weekend.

"We have a large influx here in Bay County that have come to visit the beaches, and right now traffic is heavy."

Couple that with the fact that Bay County has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and you have recipe for increased traffic accidents.

There have been 23 traffic fatalities in Bay County this year, two of them during this holiday weekend. Speed kills, and authorities say it's their job to slow drivers down.

"If the speed limit sign says 45, we want you to do 45. We don't want you to do 50. We want you to hold it back to 45."

There have been five traffic fatalities in our viewing area since the official 4th of July holiday traffic watch period started at 12:01 Friday morning.

Besides the two in Bay County, there were two in Okaloosa County and one in Washington County. It's an alarming trend that state troopers hope to stop in its tracks.

So far this year there's been over 1,600 automobile fatalities in Florida.