Florida highway troopers to amp up enforcement for aggressive drivers this month

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2017

A Florida Highway Patrol official wants troopers under his command to write at least two tickets an hour, an order that a Florida state senator says is illegal, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Welch sites SOAR, the Statewide Overtime Action Response program, as the reason for the request.

Florida state troopers are among the lowest-paid in the country, though the recent SOAR initiative encourages them to work the roads more by bumping up their pay.

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The email allegedly thanked the government for the troopers' 5 percent raise, which also increased overtime rates.

"Let me be very clear: Quotas have no place within the Florida Highway Patrol", Terry L. Rhodes, the department's executive director, wrote in a letter to FHP brass.

Troopers say they will be looking for auto and truck drivers who "display aggressive driving behavior" like following them too closely, speeding, and making unsafe lane changes. "It's not about meeting quotas".

Col. Michael Thomas says, "it's not a quota but more like a want. and Welch should have chosen his words better". "We're just trying to promote our guys getting out, making the stops, having contact with the public, educating them, and we do have discretion".

In an April memo, troopers in Miami-Dade who met ticket-writing goals were given an extra weekend off with pay. The annual starting salary would rise from $38,000 to $42,000 in a year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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