By Ashley Dyer

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s been an alarming uptick in shootings on South Florida roadways. Early Tuesday morning, a shooting on the Dolphin Expressway left a car riddled with bullet holes.  And on I-95, troopers say people are firing from behind the wheel at least once a week.

“Nobody knows how they’re going to react when they’re being shot at.  Your first instinct is going to be to survive,” said Lt. Alex Camacho with Florida Highway Patrol.

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Now, FHP’s Crime Interdiction Unit is cracking down on the violence with “Operation Safe Highways.”  Only CBS4’s Ashley Dyer got to ride along with troopers as they swarmed the interstate.

FHP Sgt. Jean Torres and fellow troopers inspecting pills found during a stop. (CBS4)

The goal of this operation is to deter people from gun violence, from transporting drugs and from driving recklessly.  Since the operation began on Friday, troopers have pulled over 83 people and made four arrests.

“We’ve seen a variety of things.  Highway shootings.  Narcotics being transported.  Human trafficking cases,” said Camacho.

A surge in shootings and violent crimes on our highways.

“You’ll hear shots fired, a shooting, or you’ll hear signal 30,” explained Jean Torres, a sergeant with Florida Highway Patrol.

“Something as simple as a lane change can make someone just kind of lose it,” said Camacho.

Camacho said they’re seeing a pattern.  Most highway shootings are happening during the overnight hours, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“You have no control over that firearm.  That projectile can literally go anywhere,” explained Camacho.

To put an end to the violence before the holiday season, FHP’s Crime Interdiction Unit is saturating I-95 in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

With lights on and siren’s sounding, we went along for the ride, watching firsthand, troopers in action.

“You’re under arrest for possession of a controlled substance,” explained a trooper as he put a man in cuffs.

“They found he was in possession of 80 pills – 80 pills which are going to constitute trafficking charges,” explains Sgt. Torres.

The 80 pills in question being examined on the trunk of the cruiser. (CBS4)

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Within the first hour, troopers made four traffic stops.

“We pulled him over for speeding and checked his license information, it came back that he had a bench warrant,” said Torres of another arrest.

Torres said in order to deter crime and gun violence, they need to make their presence known.

“We do this constantly.  We don’t take breaks,” he said.

At least once a week, troopers say someone fires a gun while behind the wheel.  Some of the shootings are targeted, while others are an aggressive response to road rage.

“A stray bullet could hit somebody else because there are just so many vehicles around,” said Camacho.

Recently, the senseless violence ended in tragedy.

Camacho said, “There was one case involving a young female driver that was shot as a result of a shooting and she died from her injuries.  It was so tragic because she had nothing to do with it.”

While some cases are solved, many go cold.

“Within 30 seconds the shots are fired, and the shooter has left the area,” said Camacho.

Florida Highway Patrol is confident Operation Safe Highway will put a major dent in the violence South Florida is seeing.

“Maybe we have to work harder, maybe we have to do more. Whatever it takes,” said Torres.

Determination to keep residents and the roadways safe.

“We’re here to stay and we’re not going anywhere,” said Torres.

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Operation Safe Highway started on Friday, November 19, and it will run through December 16 in both Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.