BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Labor Day weekend is in full swing here in the Panhandle, and while officials want both visitors and locals to have fun, they want to make sure they are staying safe too.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday of the year.
“Labor Day holiday we have an increase traffic, increase of people being on the roadways, and unfortunately with the result of this increase of people traveling we have an increased number of crashes and fatalities,” said Florida Department of Transportation law enforcement liaison Andrew Johnson.
Lieutenant Robert Cannon with the Florida Highway Patrol says their main focus this year is impaired driving.
“We are going to be looking for primarily impaired drivers and then hazardous moving violations,” Cannon said. “Then they are going to be looking for those distractions and people using cell phones.”
The Panama City Beach Police Department is also on high alert throughout the weekend, especially with Gulf Coast Jam.
“We have officers that come out and work their days off,” said Panama City Beach Police chief Drew Whitman. “We we want to make sure that the visitors that come down here are protected and feel safe, and definitely protect our residents that live here year round.”