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FDOT Holds Safety Program in Tampa, Miami

A four week campaign from the Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office got underway yesterday in Tampa.

The Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office is approaching Tampa Bay as one of the state's key areas for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.

A four week campaign kicked off yesterday encouraging Floridians to learn more about traffic laws for both pedestrians and motorists. According to the organization's Facebook, 48% of pedestrians are killed while crossing a road, but not at an intersection.

As part of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad’s ongoing initiative to reduce bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities, the message “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow…Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident” will be presented via television, social media, transit advertising, local education and enforcement activities.

"We started yesterday on this test campaign in Hillsborough County because this area is double the national average when it comes to pedestrian fatalities," FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson said. "We're working with law enforcement and we are advertising trying to get people more aware of pedestrian safety. This campaign is all about education, so we handed out shirts to the public yesterday and we were out on Fletcher and Fowler Avenues writing citations to people not following proper safety guidelines."

FDOT has a goal to reduce pedestrian fatalities by 20% by 2015; saving 15 lives per year. To do this, they have devised a multi-faceted solution that includes:  engineering safer pedestrian walkways, educating pedestrians and motorists and enforcing laws more strictly.

For more information, visit the FDOT website.

Mary Wells July 31, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Personally, I don't think it will do any good. Drivers in Tampa are too inconsiderate to let bike riders on the road. I gave up riding my bicycle because I have been hit twice - nothing serious just skinned up but knocked off the bike both time.
David Rice July 31, 2012 at 09:18 PM
To be honest I agree, but the problem goes beyond the drivers. Pedestrians need to use the nearest crosswalk instead of just walking around in the middle of the street as I often see, and a lot cyclists make bad riding mistakes and don't know how to properly ride on busy streets. Drivers need to be better educated when they take their licensing tests and all parties need to have rules more strictly enforced. That's my opinion anyhow.
jess b August 01, 2012 at 09:14 AM
"Use nearby crosswalks"? Do you even know where that is? At intersections with traffic signals....so when I hear that statement, it makes me cringe at the smugness and lack of local awareness ...and yet it is stated so frequently! This isn't a downtown where there might be a crosswalk at every corner. Pedestrian design & consideration went the way of the Dodo once a Car became the goal of every driveway. In SH think about where those traffic intersections are located. . Exactly. . Aprx 10 blocks apart on N/S roads and when away from FL-Neb-i275 intersctions for E/W travel. Visualized that yet? ... So if you, all of who have made or thought that statement, wants to cross at Wilder to walk to the Independent or Ella's -that means crossing at Osbourne or Hillsborough. So much for a walking nghbrhood. That expectation is absolutely NUTs.
David Rice August 01, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Jess- I understand the crosswalk argument in Seminole Heights, no smugness was intended. I have to say though, I see it a lot even if a crosswalk is a half block away. If you're out walking somewhere, it isn't that hard to go another half a block to get in the crosswalk. I lived without a car for a year in this city, and while it isn't always easy to find a crosswalk, it's not that hard to stay out of the middle of the road. As a local resident, I would just like to see a little more caution taken. I see people just walk out into the street without really looking or they cross the street going lane by lane waiting for each lane to clear before they continue. Or you'll see a guy ride a bike the wrong way down a one way street, sometimes in the road sometimes on a sidewalk depending on how he feels at any given moment I suppose. I agree, Seminole Heights needs to improve its infrastructure for pedestrians and cycles alike, but I still think some of the people out there need to exercise better safety measures. Drivers, of course, are not free of blame either, (right on red doesn't mean you don't have to stop) but as someone driving these days, I see a lot of bad, dangerous decisions being made by pedestrians and cyclists all over the city, not just in Seminole Heights. Does circumstance play into it? Absolutely, but that's with anything. The program in this article does talk about engineering safer roadways though and I do agree with your point. So this would be a nice start.

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