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Florida Highway Patrol out in force for holiday

FHP crackdown includes plane patrol

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Spend a day with the Florida Highway Patrol and you'll quickly realize how impossible it would be to try to ticket every driver who does not move over one lane, or slow at least 20 mph under the speed limit while passing a stopped emergency vehicle.

"This red car is going at a high rate of speed. If he were to hit us, we'd be dead," said Cpl. Jason Duran, referring to a Lexus SUV blowing past him. "That'd be the end of it."

"There's another one, changing lanes into us. He's on the phone," said Duran, as an older model Toyota Camry sped by in the left lane, only inches from his arm.

All morning, Duran and Local 6 watched as drivers, one after the other, refused to move over and give troopers some breathing room.

"The only thing we can do is pray or hope people will more over or slow down, to give us a little bit of space to let us work," said Duran.

Local 6 rode with Duran for several hours on Memorial Day as drivers were heading to beaches, barbecues and family get-togethers, many of them in a hurry, distracted and seemingly careless.

Local 6 counted up to 10 cars in a row, several times, that would not move over for several troopers stopped on the side of Interstate 4 through Maitland, giving the troopers working on the side of the highway very little room for error.

"It doesn't affect them until they're involved. Then they're apologetic," Duran said.

Earlier this month, Ocala-based Trooper Chelsea Richard was killed on the side of Interstate 75 when an out-of-control truck ploughed into her.

All 50 states have enacted some type of "Move Over" law.

The Florida Highway Patrol used its small plane to measure drivers' speed Monday. The pilot would then relay the speed and the vehicle to troopers on the ground, who would pull over the driver.

Duran ticketed one driver for doing 94 mph in a 50-mph zone on I-4 through Orlando.


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