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PCSO working to promote July 4th safety
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During the Fourth of July weekend, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies are maintaining a high profile on waterways and roadways to help ensure a safe holiday for citizens and visitors.
During the Fourth of July weekend, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies will maintain a high profile on the waterways and roadways to help ensure a safe holiday for citizens and visitors.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to enjoy the local holiday festivities and want to remind them that firework displays should only be conducted by trained professionals.

The Sheriff’s Marine Unit, Environmental Lands Unit and Patrol Deputies will maintain a proactive profile over the holiday weekend on the highly traveled roadways and waterways of Pinellas County. They will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and boaters.

Don’t forget that Pinellas County has an ordinance banning the retail sale and purchase of fireworks that project into the air or explode. Firing guns into the air in celebration is unsafe and also illegal. A bullet returning to the ground could potentially cause injury or death. Sparklers are legal but remember to only use them outside and as intended. It is also not safe to mix alcohol and fireworks.

Deputies also want to remind everyone to be on the lookout for pedestrians, as many people will line the beaches and local parks for Fourth of July festivities. If you are a pedestrian near the roadways of Pinellas County, please always remember to walk on the sidewalks and cross in the crosswalks provided.

Drivers should remember to always travel the speed limit and pay careful attention to pedestrians crossing the street. Drivers are encouraged to look twice and slow down when approaching the crosswalks. If the lights of a crosswalk are flashing or there are pedestrians waiting to cross, drivers should stop and allow the pedestrians the right of way.

For those planning to spend this holiday weekend on the water, “Operation Kid-Float” is a program available to citizens that provides loaner life jackets to children. The Marine Unit recommends that all children wear a personal flotation device while underway and that PFD’s be readily accessible to all occupants of a vessel.

PFD’s are available to the public on a loaner basis. The jackets may be picked up at four locations:

- Don’s Dock located at 215 128th Avenue East in Madeira Beach (on John’s Pass).

- John Chestnut Park, 2200 East Lake Road S. in Palm Harbor.

- Dunedin City Marina, 51 Main St. in Dunedin.

- Fort De Soto Boat Ramp, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in Tierra Verde

Deputies will also have PFD’s on board and will hand them out as needed following boat safety equipment inspections. Citizens are to return the loaner PFD’s after their voyage at the PCSO Marine Facility drop-off bin at 19305 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores.
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