June 28, 2016

Fourth of July three day weekend expected to be busy, congested

With all kinds of special events planned for the Fourth of July holiday weekend county-wide, the Sheriff’s Office expects traffic to be very heavy throughout the Florida Keys starting on Friday and continuing through Tuesday, July 5th.

The Sheriff’s Office will have extra officers on the water and on the highway in an effort to keep residents and visitors safe. If you plan to drive anywhere in or out of the county, make sure you plan extra time for your trip. There are a number of events which will most likely impact traffic, and this weekend is also one of the busiest times of year with many people traveling into and out of the Keys.

Traffic Enforcement deputies will be on the roadways watching for impatient and unsafe drivers. Don’t pass in no passing zones or in center turn lanes or you are likely to get a ticket. Also, if you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to designate a sober driver – for your car or your boat – to make sure you get home safely.

Leave the fireworks and explosive fire crackers to the professionals this holiday. If we catch you with illegal explosive fire crackers, we will confiscate them and could charge you with a violation of Florida law. And if you decide to set off some legal fireworks, please be courteous and do so at a reasonable hour so you don’t keep the neighbors awake. Each year we receive numerous complaints about fireworks late at night and early in the morning. When our deputies are responding to these types of calls, we can’t be out keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe.

Take a few moments to clean up after yourself and/or your family if you go to an event such as a parade or fireworks display, if you have a picnic, or if you set off fireworks on the street in front of your house. Discard trash properly, in a trash can or a recycling container. It isn’t fair to leave it on the ground or in the water for someone else to clean up and you could be charged with littering. When disposing of fireworks, however, make sure they have cooled first so you don’t start a fire in a trash can or trash bag.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend! Please help keep the Keys clean and safe for everyone.


Traffic note: There will be a parade in Key Largo on July 4th that is expected to cause traffic congestion. Northbound traffic will be closed at the 97 mile marker from 9:45 – 10 a.m. All traffic will be diverted into southbound lanes starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 11 a.m. while the parade is taking place in the northbound lanes of the highway. The highway will return to normal traffic patterns by 11:15 a.m. Those who can should avoid traveling through that area between the hours of 9:45 and 11:15 a.m. If you have to travel through that area during those times, plan extra time and expect slowdowns.

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