SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 10, 2017 -- 8:30 a.m.
In December 2016, the Sarasota Police Department received a grant for a High Visibility Enforcement program for pedestrian and bicycle safety. The safety campaign, which began in January 2017, is in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research. The goal of the safety campaign is geared to increase awareness of pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle safety through education and enforcement.
The first stage of the grant focused on education. Officers observed and educated traffic laws in chosen areas in an attempt to reduce the number of pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle crashes. 237 warnings were issued and 17 citations were issued for various other violations. Officers spent 137.5 hours educating pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers on the importance on traffic laws.
Now through May 2017, Traffic Officers will focus on enforcing laws to ensure safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Each situation will be different and an Officer will have full discretion to issue warnings, citations or education when a violation is observed.
“We continue to make the safety of our community our number one priority. We want every single driver, pedestrian and bicyclist to understand and know the rules of our roads,” said Sergeant Bruce King, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit. “Safety doesn’t happen by accident.”
All contacts with citizens will be documented and results will be sent to the Florida Department of Transportation for evaluation at the conclusion of the safety campaign.