LARGO — Pinellas deputies will have an increased presence on roads and on the water this weekend as part of their annual Labor Day safety campaign, authorities said.
Officials hope their efforts will help reduce or eliminate injuries and deaths associated with holiday traffic and boating crashes.
Patrol deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will be looking for impaired or reckless drivers, while members of the agency's marine and environmental lands unit will be out over the holiday weekend promoting boating safety. As part of the operation, deputies will be on the lookout for intoxicated boaters or people operating vessels with recklessness.
Boats will be stopped and deputies will perform safety equipment inspections to look for life jackets, a flotation cushion, a sound-making device such as a whistle or horn and a working fire extinguisher.
Kids wearing life vests will receive free T-shirts for adhering to safety regulations as part of "Operation Kid Float," the Sheriff's Office said.
Life vests will be available for loan at Don's Dock located at 215 128th Ave. E in Madeira Beach on John's Pass.
Deputies will also have life vests on their boats and will hand them out as needed after safety equipment inspections. They should be returned at the PCSO Marine Facility drop-off bin at 19305 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores.
The Florida Highway Patrol has announced its troopers will also be out in larger numbers this weekend.