Here’s what drivers should do when encountering a protest on highway

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

The most recent “Ask Trooper Steve” question is: What should I do if I encounter a protest that’s blocking a road or highway?

Over the weekend, protesters have blocked I-4 and State Road 408 in Orlando.

“Encountering any type of protest could become an uncomfortable situation, especially on the ever-changing I-4 with the culmination of construction and other drivers,” Trooper Steve said. “I always promote for you to be aware of your surroundings and to be prepared to change your route at any given notice. I know, I’m asking for a lot when I tell you guys this stuff, but I only do it because I’ve seen what happens when you don’t. Just like in a road rage situation, I never want you to be the one to escalate a confrontational encounter.”

If the situation cannot be avoided, here’s some advice from Trooper Steve.

“If you find yourself coming to a complete stop on the highway because of a protest, do so from a distance that keeps not only you safe but the protesters, too,” he said. "If you see the obstruction from a distance, try to detour yourself as quickly as possible, even if exiting the highway is not exactly what you had originally planned."

In addition, Trooper Steve said you should lock all the doors in your vehicle and have everyone in your car remain calm.

“I suggest immediately notifying law enforcement and if you have a dash camera make sure it is recording,” Trooper Steve said. “We have begun to see that highway demonstrations in our area have not necessarily been the most peaceful. Ensure that you are following your local law enforcement and News 6 social media accounts so you are aware of any situations in your immediate area that could affect you. Making safe decisions is everyone’s responsibility, from drivers to protesters.”

If you have a question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.