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Florida Highway Patrol beefs up presence during Thanksgiving week

MIAMI – The holiday hustle is on as people hit the road for Thanksgiving, and the Florida Highway Patrol is beefing up their patrols to keep drivers safe.

Local 10 News reporter Ben Kennedy rode along with Trooper Joe Sanchez Wednesday, who knows firsthand the impact the holidays can have on traffic and the dangers it can bring.

"The message we get across is that I know people are in a hurry, but speed kills and we want to make sure you arrive alive, and you get to spend Thanksgiving with your loved ones," Sanchez said.  

There were nearly 10,000 car crashes statewide during the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday period. Authorities said 84 people lost their lives, 17 of whom were not wearing seatbelts.

"My first reaction is 84 families did not enjoy a happy Thanksgiving. The other is it's alarming," Sanchez said.  

Sanchez pulled over a driver for speeding during Wednesday's ride along and gave him a warning to slow down.

"After getting pulled over and issued a warning, are you going to slow down?" Kennedy asked the driver.

 "Definitely. I need to be careful," Ruslam Acosta said.