SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — As people gear up for long holiday travel trips law enforcement is warning the public about how to stay safe on the roads.
As well as keeping you and your family safe, drivers need to be aware of any patrol cars on the road and the Move Over Law.
Walton County deputies had a high-stress night on November 2nd after someone crashed into a patrol car on HWY 98.
A deputy was hit by a passing car while finishing a traffic stop. In the video released by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, you can see the parts of the patrol car fly off into the roadway.
The deputy exiting the car was knocked down by the crash but is okay.
Deputies followed the car for miles before arresting the driver in front of townhomes.
“There’s a reason there’s a law for this to move over well, which is we ask people to change lanes, if not if possible, but if not, slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit. We need to go as slow as possible past these folks. We don’t have the luxury of not stepping in the roadway,” Michael Adkinson, Walton County Sheriff said.
In Tampa, on November 11, a state trooper was hit while supervising a construction zone on I-275.
Florida Highway Patrol said an impaired driver veered into the construction zone seriously injuring the trooper and two others.
On top of not driving impaired or distracted, FHP wants travelers to make sure their vehicles are road-safe this holiday season.
“Make sure your tires have proper inflation, proper tread, no dry rotting windshield wipers, are good and conditioned, ready to work instead of possibly broken radiator fluid. All change all these little things that help the car travel or go down the roadway safely and smoothly,” Jason King, Florida Highway Patrol Lt said.
FHP said they will increase patrols by 10% during the holiday travel months.
You can keep up with crashes as they happen on the FHP online map.
“The last situation you want to be in is stuck on the side of the road during heavy traffic when law enforcement is tied up on a lot of other functions, waiting extra time for us to get there and provide assistance, be it change a tire, jump off a battery, bring radiator fluid or whatever you need to continue your travel,” King said.