With all kinds of special events planned for the Fourth of July holiday county-wide, the Sheriff’s Office expects traffic to be very heavy throughout the Florida Keys starting today and continuing through Monday, July 8.
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 on July Fourth which will impact traffic, and this weekend as well as next weekend are expected to be 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! Please help keep the Keys clean and safe for everyone.
Traffic note: There will be a parade in Key Largo on July 4that is expected to cause traffic congestion. Northbound traffic will be closed at Mile Marker 99 from 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. All traffic will then be diverted into southbound lanes starting at 9:45 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours. The highway will return to normal traffic patterns by 1 p.m. at the latest. Those who can should avoid traveling through that area between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you have to travel through that area during those times, plan extra time and expect slowdowns.