Local law enforcement reminds people about safety on the roadways
SARASOTA - It’s not only a busy season in the grocery stores, but also on the roads. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest seasons on the expressways. Many drivers are traveling near and far for Thanksgiving dinner. Local law enforcement reminds drivers to stay safe while driving. Traffic Sergeant with the Sarasota Police Department, Anthony Frangioni, says the city could double in size with people coming down for the holidays.
"We have 65,000 full-time residents, we have part-time residents," Traffic Sergeant Anthony Frangioni said. "We’ll see an increase, I would say by no less than 100,000 people.”
Local resident, Greg Magac Sr. says the growth is outrageous.
"I live over here by Trader Joes Grocery store," Greg Magac Sr. said. "The traffic is awful busy there this time of year. So, everybody be careful."
Congestion on the roadway can be a cause for concern. According to the Sarasota Police Department (SPD), during the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, 365 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. So, SPD wants to remind you to "Buckle up.”
"We see firsthand, the tragedies that happen with people not wearing seatbelts," Sergeant Frangioni said. "And we see the miracles when people have seatbelts on. And, people are walking away from things that people should not be walking away from.”
With everyone enjoying time with their family and friends, people are also very preoccupied in their cars. Florida State Trooper, Kenn Watson, says it’s important to pay special attention while driving. Also, he encourages people to plan ahead during the holidays.
"Make sure that the decisions that you make, you make them while you’re sober." Trooper Kenn Watson said. "You do not want to get behind the wheel when you are in impaired.”
"Drinking and driving, I think everyone has talked about this," Sergeant Frangioni said. "If you do it, and you live, you’re lucky.”
AAA offers Tow-to-Go, a free service for members and non-members. They will take you where you need to go safely within a 10-mile radius.
Other safety tips to keep in mind are paying attention to your speed, watching for pedestrian and construction projects in the area, and to keep both hands on the wheel. Florida Highway patrol, local sheriffs and police departments will be out on the highway making sure you’re safe.