OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Florida Highway Patrol

What is the purpose of FHP?

The mission of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is to promote a safe and secure Florida though professional law enforcement and traffic safety awareness.

What services are provided by FHP?

The Florida Highway Patrol's first priority is to maintain safety on Florida's highways. Troopers accomplish this through frequent patrol and enforcement of traffic laws; by responding to, investigating, and clearing the highway of traffic crashes; and by assisting stranded motorists and those in need of assistance for medical emergencies while traveling the state's highways.  Troopers also provide the services described below.
  • Highway safety is maintained by using marked cars to patrol the highways. Patrol cars are augmented with aerial patrol and motorcycles.
  • Commercial vehicle safety enforcement inspects commercial vehicles and enforces Florida traffic laws. In Calendar Year 2018, officers conducted 102,870 commercial vehicle inspections and placed 15,122 vehicles and 6,613 drivers out of service for critical safety violations.
  • Traffic homicide investigations are conducted by specially trained investigators, who are dispatched to fatal crash scenes to conduct thorough investigations to determine if criminal negligence has occurred and to conduct criminal investigations needed for prosecution of any criminal charges.
  • Criminal investigations are conducted for cases of driver license fraud, odometer fraud, title fraud, identity theft, vehicle theft, commercial vehicle and cargo thefts, and other crimes over which FHP has primary responsibility.
  • Assistance to local law enforcement is provided upon request, including assistance under the mutual aid agreement for state-level emergency response to natural, man-made, and technological disasters.
  • Safety campaigns promote highway safety, reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes, and reduce criminal acts committed on highways.

Where are the troopers stationed?

The FHP has its general headquarters in Tallahassee and 10 troop command posts throughout the state.  There are nine field troops and one troop to handle Florida turnpike operations. Two additional troops are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement and are headquartered in Tallahassee and Lake Worth.

How and where are FHP recruits trained?

The Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy is located in Tallahassee, Florida. Recruits receive 28 weeks of classroom and hands-on training that addresses topics such as legal issues, interpersonal communications, crime scene and criminal investigations, DUI and crash investigations, and traffic stops. It also includes training in high liability areas of firearms, defensive tactics, law, first aid, and vehicle operations. FHP provides training materials, meals, and lodging, and recruits receive a salary during training. Upon graduation from the academy, new troopers are assigned to a field training officer for 10 weeks, during which they must demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities prior to being released to perform solo patrol duties.

How many traffic crashes occur in Florida each year?

The department's crash dashboard reports that in 2019, there were 400,788 total crashes in Florida. Of these crashes, there were 166,702 that involved injury and 2,972 that resulted in at least one fatality. Statewide, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated 30.68% of all crashes in 2019.

How well does FHP perform?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the Florida Highway Patrol responded to 66% of calls for service within 30 minutes. This falls short of the department's standard of 85%. During this period, the majority of troopers' time (77.75%) was spent on patrol and investigation activities. This exceeds the department's standard of 75%.

In calendar year 2019, the Florida Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers conducted 110,226 commercial vehicle inspections. These resulted in 16,771 vehicles and 7,074 drivers placed out-of-service for critical safety violations.  

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT
39,181,211
294.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
3,106,850
24.00
HIGHWAY SAFETY
258,571,677
2,178.00
TOTAL
300,859,738
2,496.00

Updates

Licenses for persons with developmental disabilities. The 2020 Legislature enacted HB787 which, among other provisions, authorizes an optional “D” designation on the drivers license of a person who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability. The licensee, or his or her parent or legal guardian, must present the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) with sufficient proof that a licensed physician has diagnosed the licensee with a developmental disability. Additionally, a licensee, or his or her parent or legal guardian, may surrender his or her current driver license at any time to add or remove a “D” designation.

Wireless Communications While Driving. The 2019 Legislature enacted Ch. 2019-44, Laws of Florida, which amended Florida's Ban on Texting While Driving Law. The bill changed the enforcement of the ban on texting while driving from a secondary to a primary offense (beginning July 1, 2019).  This change allows a law enforcement officer to detain a motor vehicle operator solely for texting, emailing, or instant messaging while driving. Drivers are additionally prohibited from using a handheld wireless communications device while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone area (beginning October 1, 2019). The prohibition only applies to a work zone area if construction personnel are present or are operating equipment on the road or immediately adjacent to the area. The bill prohibits a law enforcement officer from accessing a driver's wireless communications device without a warrant. When a citation is issued, the law enforcement officer is required to record the race and ethnicity of the violator. Law enforcement agencies are required to maintain this information and report it to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Beginning February 1, 2020, the department annually reports this information to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

Texting While Driving Report, February 2020, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Impaired Driving Campaign Report, January 2019, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Red-Light Camera Summary Report Fiscal Year 2018-2019, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Seat Belt Violations 2018 Annual Report, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' Office of Inspector General reports are available by emailing inspectorgeneral@flhsmv.gov.

Websites of Interest
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Cabinet and Legislature Reports & Statistics
Florida Transportation Commission
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Official Directory of State Patrol & Police
American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Law Enforcement
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 321, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Highway Patrol, 850-617-2000

Website