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Florida Highway Patrol adding troopers to handle busy Tampa Bay roads over Thanksgiving weekend

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Highway Patrol is warning families about increased dangers on the road as millions head home from Thanksgiving festivities. The agency says it’s adding patrols to deal with increased traffic over the holiday weekend.

“You’re going to see as many troopers out there as we can produce,” Sgt. Steve Gaskins told 8 On Your Side. “Our biggest concern is the major interstates, that’s always been our number one priority — state roads after that.”

According to the FHP, troopers responded to more than 10,000 crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period in 2019. Data shows 3,200 of the crashes happened on the Sunday after the holiday.

“Any time Sunday morning, and getting progressively heavier in the afternoon, as people make their way back home,” Gaskins said of the expected rush on the roads. He recommended, “Check out your vehicle, no distractions, no drinking and driving, seatbelts on and make sure you get plenty of rest.”

The sergeant suggested families check car tires, windshield wipers and lights before hitting the road. Gaskins asked that anyone who notices concerning driving habits or crashes call Florida Highway Patrol at *FHP (*347).

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