Florida Turns Up the H.E.A.T. on Summertime Travelers

- Summer H.E.A.T. Campaign Targets Speeding, Impaired Driving and Safety Belt Use –

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Everyone in the Sunshine State is feeling the summer heat — but drivers in Florida could find themselves in a real hot spot if they’re not careful on the roadways. The Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office (FDOT), in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Southeast Region, announced that their “Summer H.E.A.T.” (Heavy Enforcement of All Traffic) awareness campaign is in full force over this Independence Day holiday weekend. State and local law enforcement will be turning up the H.E.A.T. on speeding violators, impaired drivers, and all occupants not using their safety belts.

“Many lives could be saved over the upcoming July 4th holiday, if people would only slow down and follow the posted speed limits,” said NHTSA Southeast Region Administrator Terrance Schiavone. “This is why NHTSA has joined forces with FDOT and law enforcement agencies from eight southeastern states in a unified commitment to put the H.E.A.T. on unsafe drivers.”

During last year’s Independence Day holiday, 30 people were killed in traffic crashes in Florida. Of them, 43 percent were involved in alcohol- related crashes over the 4-day holiday period. Sixty percent of the drivers killed in these crashes were not using a safety belt. Throughout last summer, speeding was a factor in 80 vehicle occupant fatalities in Florida. Over 61 percent of those that died were not using their safety belts at the time of the crash.

“The summer months represent some of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year on Florida’s highways,” said Ed Rice, Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Program Manager. “With many vehicles speeding on our roads and an increase in alcohol use surrounding 4th of July activities, we want to remind Florida residents and visitors to take extra precautions over this holiday weekend to ensure everyone obeys the speed limits, does not drive impaired, and always buckles up.”

The “Summer H.E.A.T.” campaign engages law enforcement agencies throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Florida’s campaign brings awareness to the dangers of speeding, driving impaired, and not using safety belts in an effort to make summer traveling safer in Florida and throughout the Southeast.

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