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FHP busy on day before Thanksgiving keeping drivers safe

Posted at 9:46 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 04:07:43-05

As the sun began to set Wednesday, WPTV began a ride with Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joan Cantelar, headed south. He patrols from Boca Raton to Boynton Beach typically. 

“This person is not wearing a seatbelt,” he tells us, looking over at a white minivan in the lane to our right. Cantelar flips on his siren.  “Now he’s putting it on.”

In Palm Beach County, it’s a $116 fine for not wearing a seatbelt. It’s one of the thing troopers are on the lookout for. The driver is cited

Next, a call comes out over the radio: a car disabled on the side of the road. A blown tire put a white Crown Victoria in a ditch near Yamato Road in Boca.

The question is, who’s driving? The man troopers are questioning has a suspended license and there appears to be no one else in the car.

“He’s claiming he’s not the driver now, saying his buddy started walking southbound trying to look for some help,” Cantelar tells us, suspicious of the man.

The search for his buddy is unsuccessful. 

“Right now, you are our driver,” Cantelar told the man once we are back from searching.

Back on the highway, Cantelar paces a driver going 87 mph in a 65 mph zone, which is a fine $281 for the driver.

“It’s all about safety. Making sure that the people that are doing the right thing are making it home safely. The people that are doing it wrong, pull them over, give them a citation if it’s a citation,” he explained to us.

Another call comes out.  This time a car collided with the center wall north of us, near 45th Street.  We get there in time to see the driver taken to the hospital. 

The goal is safety first and then return traffic to normal. 

“If we have the lanes blocked, open it as fast as possible because we have to open the road,” he explains.

If you see a road shut down for a long time, that means there is likely a fatality.

And remember the move over law: if you see a tow truck or a trooper pulled over, move over a lane or lower your speed by 20 mph.