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Florida Highway Patrol enforcing the importance of safe driving after increase in fatal crashes

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Put down the phone, drive the speed limit, and don’t forget to buckle your seat belt. These are three messages the Florida Highway Patrol and local law enforcement want you to think about before you hit the road.

“It sounds so simple by just taking these few steps, distraction device down, seat belt on, plan, and speed. Pretty simple as you say it but we all get in a hurry and we lose focus and get in the car and take off,” FHP Public Information Officer Jason King said.

According to troopers, fatal crashes in the area have increased in the past year.

“Florida is kind of on the lead to have way more fatal accidents by the end of the year than in many years in the past. We do not want to be number one in the fatal crashes in the state of Florida this year, so our goal is to really reduce that,” added King.

FHP is partnering with other agencies this week to enforce the importance of safe driving.

“We’ve noticed over the past year or so an increase in accidents and a lot of traffic. Those things are very dangerous, not just for the folks coming through, but also for our people as well. The department of transportation, its number one priority is safety,” said Phillip Gainer, District Secretary for District Three, Florida Department of Transportation.

Between Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Jackson, Washington, and Holmes counties FHP worked 62 fatal crashes in both 2019 and 2020.

So far this year within those counties FHP has worked 43 crashes which are 8 more compared to this time last year.

“We need people to slow down and pay attention we’re doing we’re trying to save lives,” said Kevin Arnold, Jackson County Sheriffs Office.

FHP said they will have troopers out patrolling areas that have been deemed hot crash corridors this week.

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