Florida Highway Patrol takes to the sky to target aggressive drivers

Pilots patrol areas prone to problematic motorists

ORLANDO, Fla. – When traveling on Florida highways, troopers are often seen lurking in the median, waiting for the next speeder to cruise by.

But what about that aggressive driver that passes you at light speed, leaving you wondering: Where’s a cop when you need one?

Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they can’t see you. Florida Highway Patrol troopers are often 1,500 feet high, already radioing ahead to troopers on the ground that there's a driver needing their attention headed their way.

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero took to the skies with FHP troopers, seeing how they are targeting aggressive drivers on Florida interstates-- and most of the time these aggressive drivers don’t even see them coming. 

The Highway Patrol currently has five aircraft throughout the state that conduct random highway enforcement in areas prone to careless drivers. Pilots are able to calculate a driver’s speed by a premeasured quarter mile, marked by painted white lines across the roadway, clearly visible to the pilot in the sky.

After calculating the speed, the pilot is able to radio ahead to waiting troopers with a vehicle description, then maintains a constant visual of the car, allowing troopers to enact the traffic stop.

Orlando is under the watchful eye of Master Sgt. Luis Badia, who has worked for FHP for 27 years and been flying the skies for 19 of those.

"All I ask is for the motoring public to slow down a little. It’s not worth it," Badia said.

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