MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) — The Florida Highway Patrol has an increased presence on interstates and major highways this week, focusing on speeders, seat belt violations and those who are impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Last year, there were more than ten thousand traffic crashes in Florida during the Thanksgiving travel period, which starts on the Friday before Thanksgiving and continues through the Sunday after the holiday.

Those crashes led to 392 serious bodily injuries and 98 deaths. Troopers wrote nearly 70,000 traffic citations during the 2019 Thanksgiving period.

“During the holiday season, people want to have fun with their families and maybe want to party a little bit,” Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Peter Bergstresser said. “But you always want to be cognizant that if you are impaired, or if you’ve had too much to drink, you do not want to drive that vehicle down the road.”

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The AAA auto club is expecting a significant decline in holiday travel this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among people who do travel, 95 percent of them will drive to their destinations, while holiday air travel is projected to be about half of what it usually is.

Before recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging people to stay home for Thanksgiving, AAA anticipated a 10 percent decrease in travel. But AAA spokesman W.D. Williams said the decrease now is expected to be larger.

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