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FHP Starts Wrong-Way Driving Campaign


The Florida Highway Patrol is kicking off a campaign to prevent wrong-way crashes around the Tampa bay area, after five crashes led to eleven deaths so far this year.

An additional 30 troopers from across the state will be located around I-75, I-275 and other roadways to arrest wrong-way and DUI drivers.

FHP spokesperson Sgt. Steve Gaskins said drivers should make good decisions before they start drinking.

"People that will go out and want to have a good time, make sure that you plan in advance. Have carpools in mind and designated drivers," he said. "Enjoy beverages at home and not in a position where you have to put yourself to get in the car and drive home, for example."

One of the new warning signals Florida Highway Patrol plans to install to prevent more wrong-way crashes on the state's highways

At a press conference Thursday evening, FHP Director Col. David Brierton urged motorists to consider the greater impact of their actions.

"I think it's important to remember that there are a lot of people effected by these impaired driving crashes, families of the victims, the community is effected," he said. "And, I think we've seen it here, in the past several months, where it has really impacted the community as to the dangers and how serious these events are."

Gaskins says the Highway Patrol is working with the Florida Department of Transportation to determine where they can install better signs and flashing lights along exit ramps.

He said this is the first of several campaigns of the year, which starts today and ends Sunday.

M.S. Butler joined WUSF in October, 2014 after becoming the first recipient of the Stephen Noble Intern Scholarship. A Bay Area resident since 1999, he became a full-time student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in Fall 2012.He has written articles for the school newspaper The Crow’s Nest covering topics ranging from seasonal flu shots to students carrying guns on campus.
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