The Florida Highway Patrol reported Sunday morning that safety measures will be taken to help protect state troopers as Hurricane Irma moves through the area.
"During the storm our troopers will be taken off the roadway, when the weather becomes too dangerous for our members to safely respond to calls for service," said Lt. Eddie Elmore, Troop A Public Affairs Officer.
"We would like to remind motorists to please stay off the roadways during the upcoming storm. The local bridges will be monitored for wind hazards and will be evaluated for closure when winds reach 40 mph sustained."
While FHP reiterates the need to stay off the roadways as much as possible, the agency also offers the following advice for motorists who must travel as the area experiences forceful winds as an effect of Hurricane Irma:
Slow down – The roads remain slick after the storm so if you have to drive, decrease your speed to avoid hydroplaning.
Buckle up – When it is finally safe to venture out, take the extra time to buckle your seatbelt. It is the law in Florida, and statistics continue to show that seatbelts save lives. Four of the reported deaths related to Tropical Story Fay involved motorists who were not wearing their seatbelts.
Be cautious of high winds – Windy conditions adversely affect all vehicles, particularly high profile vehicles, such as buses and trucks, as well as motorcycles. Gusty wind makes driving difficult, especially when it is rapidly changing speed and direction.
Turn around; don’t drown – Prepare for standing water. Never drive through flooded areas, even if you are familiar with the roads. The area of roadway you cannot see beneath the water may be washed out or the water may conceal debris, tree branches or even power lines.
Pay attention – You may come up on an intersection that is no longer controlled by a traffic control device. If a police officer is directing traffic, follow their directions. Otherwise, treat the intersection as you would treat an intersection governed by a four-way Stop sign.