PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — Traffic is usually a good indicator of the size of holiday weekend crowds and by all accounts, labor day weekend was big.
“We aren’t a sleepy little beach town,” said Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez.
Out-of-state license plates from Alabama, Georgia, and many others line the roadways in Panama City Beach. Talamantez said what his officers saw this weekend was all too familiar as to previous years.
“We did about 40 traffic accidents during the holiday weekend, and with the amount of people that are here that was actually, it’s amazing,” said Talamantez.
Roughly 20 officers are out at a time in the city enforcing traffic regulations. Specifically, regarding the drinking and driving initiative, the department has continued.
“We made some driving arrests, we did locate some individuals that did have too much to drink and got behind the wheel, and they are currently in jail,” he said.
One Georgia visitor explained how traffic Saturday was the worst he’s seen, even causing him to miss his dinner reservations.
“I was kind of nervous if I was going to make the seat, or make it on time, unfortunately, we didn’t,” said Fin.
He planned to head home on Monday. With most of the congestion happening along the routes leaving town.
“It’s better than yesterday,” said Fin.
Talamantez said it is roadways just like Highway 98 and 79 where you can see a lot of the out-of-state plates, all exiting the city.
“Take your time and plan ahead,” said Talamantez.
He wants to remind you not to drive distracted, not just during the holiday weekend. Texting and driving is the leading cause of any type of wreck.