HARTFORD, Ala. (WDHN)—The eight-week Spring Break period runs from late February thru early May. Tens of thousands of college students “Drive-thru” the wiregrass to Northwest Florida beach destinations.
Hartford sits along State Highway 167, a heavily used route to the gulf of Mexico. It’s the busiest time of the year for that city’s police officers, and this weekend may be the “busiest” of the entire year.
Hartford Officer Kevin Miller keeps an eye on traffic along 167.
During Spring Break, he’ll see young people driving 90 or 100 miles an hour in a 50-speed zone heading to Panama City Beach.
Officer Miller says “we see an uptick in traffic, more speeders traveling along 167. So we normally patrol this area. A lot of heavy traffic heading through Hartford and we try to enforce the speed limit along the route.
Mike Gurspan says “with the upcoming weekend being designated as take over the beaches on social media. Local authorities here in Hartford are not just looking for speeders.”
Last year’s Spring Break Big take over/meeting” weekend resulted in several riots.
Similar social media posts are being posted of a similar takeover and Panama Maniacs to happen this weekend. Hartford police are looking for not only speeders, but drugs, guns, and other signs that may indicate these young people are heading south with bad intentions in mind.
Hartford Police Sgt. Zachary Cooke says “what kinds of groups we can expect to be coming down? A lot of them have warrants, and a lot of them are known to be violent toward police officers. A lot of them carry firearms both legally and illegally. So an intelligence brief was given to us on what we can expect traveling through our city on highway 167.”