You may see construction workers–or people dressed as construction workers–ogling you with binoculars on Palm Coast and county roads this Labor Day weekend. Don’t be fooled: they’re cops looking for speedsters and drunk drivers. It’s the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s latest undercover strategy to enforce traffic laws.
It’s part of the Sheriff’s Office’s participation in this weekend’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign on the last big weekend of the summer, which tends to be a high-carnage weekend on roads as well, particularly this year: the National Safety Council is estimating with 90 percent confidence that by the time the weekend is over, between 376 and 471 people will have been killed on American roads, and between 43,200 and 54,200 people will have been injured in traffic-related crashes.
Mull over those numbers for a moment: they represent up to six deaths an hour and 690 injuries an hour. Labor Day falls just behind Memorial Day as the deadliest weekend on roads, though not by much. Flagler County is in the midst of one of its deadliest years in terms of traffic-related fatalities, with more than 20 recorded so far.
“The estimated fatality total for 2017 is 11 percent higher than the average actual number of fatalities (378) that occurred during the previous six Labor Day holiday periods for which data are available,” the council cautions.
Patrol squads will have increased countywide presence and DUI enforcement with motorcycle, bike, beach and patrol units, the Sheriff’s Office said. Marine units will also be patrolling intra-coastal waterways to promote boater safety and safe vessel operation. And message boards will flash messages and drivers’ speeds to keep them alert. The department is also activating its sheriff-taxi vehicle, a car painted half as a cop car and half as a taxi, and will be used for drunk-driving enforcement.
As for cops dressed as laborers, the Sheriff’s Office said it’s “to honor America’s blue-collar workers this Labor Day.”
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is actually one of two alliteration-heavy law enforcement campaigns targeting roads this weekend. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is also leading the so-called Drowsy Driving Prevention Week campaign starting over the weekend.
“Driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving under the influence,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Fatigue affects your ability to drive safely and can have deadly consequences. If you are traveling Florida roads, take breaks along the way and switch drivers if you start to feel tired. Ensure you Arrive Alive. Never drive drowsy.”
Lonzo brown says
Way to go sheriff, hope you get all of the drunks,
You will have to hire more deputies to slow the speeders down in Palm Coast
not very undercover if you write an article about it…..
So y r u publicizing it.
Christine kraus says
So why are you telling everyone??? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
We can’t take credit for that one: the Sheriff’s Office scooped us in announcing the undercover operation on its Facebook page.
USA Lover says
I think you just blew their cover.
tom jones says
the sounds so wrong money could be spent in a better way
Any excuse to maintain that “unofficial” 2 ticket per hour quota ….. right?
I’m guessing they feel that if they announce it, it may discourage drunk driving as well. Either way, good job!
In Pa it is a law they have to post it. No idea about Florida but the masses will be riding the left lane and not using turn signals. What part of “Keep right, Pass left” do we not understand?
Now how about having them do more on the roads with all the speeders and reckless drivers on our main roads.
Peaches McGee says
Jason – the quota was FHP, not the FCSO
So, you nay sayers are okay if some drunken fool runs over some child or kills a few people in a head on?
Anything they can do to get these drunk idiots off the road has my support!
DEE k Griggs says
Agree it is,not to undercover when they announce , however where people see construction workers perhaps they will drive with more responsibility. Although they should be doing that all along. People’s lives are valuable .
Hey Sheriff, the majority of laborers do not work on Labor Day weekend unless its a state project. I know my employees are off for a long weekend. Come on over to A1A and write lots of tickets for speeding that should help.
Don't you just love the sunshine state lol says
Put them out their in the Florida heat, rain storms and humidity. Might be better for them to be in an air conditioned vehicle.
Kathy A says
“Under cover”? Not anymore.
I see why the Sheriff would give a heads up, prevention. Around here not likely
One more, the Police presence on the roads are 100X more visible Thank you
speeders delight says
Doesn’t matter it their cover is blown the way palm Coast drivers they can care less.
I will be out there throwing cones at speeders
Barb k says
Hope you get the woman on A1A coming from St. Johns county into Flagler every saturday morning around 8 am.She has almost hit some one twice. Extreme speed
Marty Barrett says
Pretending to be laborers is the closest the cops will come to actually working for a living so please, allow them their fun.
Well if they want to fool people into thinking it’s a Palm Coast road crew they need 5 people standing around and a supervisor doing nothing while 1 guy works.
Marty Barrett, what a terrible thing to say about people who put their lives on the line every
single day. I hope you are never in a position where you need a police officer
how much money does this extra patrol cost for this holiday weekend?
Sounds like a good idea, but isn’t this a form of entrapment?
It would be nice if the Sheriff Dept worked in setting an example by following the laws themselves! I’ve lost count of speeding, no turn signals, no lights when necessary (dusk, before dawn, raining) you name it doesn’t seem important to this Sheriff & his deputies. Of course if they cause an accident we know they will get away with it!
Reverse psychology folks, if you announce what you are doing less people will tend to speed or drive drunk, unless you are an idiot and don’t read.
Thats entrapment so cant do that. It would be nice though if they took the time out to be undercover in niehborhoods to catch all the thieves
Be safe in whatever you do.
Barb K, take some video and be sure to get the speeder’s license plate then bring it to the police station. Especially if you feel the speeder may hurt someone.
Will this mean FCSO will have to wake up and get out of their parked cars along our road ways and hidden coves?
Its not entrapment. People are speeding and that’s against the law and its the police that are to prevent speeding and drunk driving. If you think its entrapment,. go out there and speed, get caught ticket and tell the judge it was entrapment, I do hope you enjoy your ticket and maybe some community service and a traffic school.
You better start with your department !!!!!
Entrapment is a police officer parked across the street from a bar waiting for last call.
Will they be driving the half taxi/half patrol car with a dummy in the car?
I think that the people who complain are those who go 30-35 mph on palm coast parkway and other streets which have a 45 mph speed limit and when you pass them at the speed limit they think you’re speeding.