Traffic Tuesday - Staying Safe on Two Wheels

Traffic Tuesday - Staying Safe on Two Wheels

No, no, NO. Just NO.

No, no, NO. Just NO.

(June 25, 2019) - It’s another “Traffic Tuesday” and today we’re going to discuss safety for those of you on two wheels. No, we don’t mean you car drivers (“cagers”) taking turns too fast and coming up off the pavement…our Patrol and Traffic Units are already out there looking for you. This is for the motorcyclists out there enjoying our blue skies and sunny weather, which we want you to do safely. The following are some of the major points of motorcycle safety and some tips to make sure that your ride goes smoothly and safely.

  • Know how to ride a motorcycle, and we mean officially. You MUST have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to operate a motorcycle in the state of Florida. An endorsement on an out-of-state license IS reciprocated by Florida (except for Alabama which requires AL riders to present a safety course certificate also). A safety course is required to obtain your FL motorcycle endorsement, as described in F.S.S. 322.12(5)(a).

  • Wear your safety equipment! A helmet is your most important piece of safety gear, and it is required by FL law unless your insurance policy covers at least $10,000 in medical coverage for motorcycle injuries. Regardless of this loophole, a helmet can save your life in a crash. According to the CDC, helmets lower risk of death in a crash by 37% and lowers serious head injury risk by 69%. Wearing a helmet with a face shield also suffices as eye protection, which is also required by Florida law.

    Safety equipment doesn’t end at your head. We all know how hot it is in Florida, but motorcycling is not unlike law enforcement…wearing that hot and heavy body armor is less uncomfortable than a bullet. Wearing proper riding protection (jacket, leathers, gloves, impact gear, footwear, etc.) can help mitigate the risk of injury. Broken bones, internal injuries to organs, road rash, and the like are very serious, painful and possibly life-threatening injuries. Wearing that nice, cool T-shirt and flip flops is asking for trouble. Anyone who rides should practice a “not if, but when” mentality when it comes to crashes, and “dress for the slide, not the ride.”

  • Equip your motorcycle properly. Florida requires a headlight in operation even in daylight. The bike must have functional turn signals (USE THEM!) and at least one rearview mirror. Make sure your bike is in safe, working order.

  • OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS! Motorcyclists must abide by all the same traffic laws that those in automobiles do. Speed and reckless driving has even more grave consequences for a motorcyclist; there’s no body frame, seatbelt, or airbag to help you if your poor choices result in a crash. Using your turn signals, while always critical, becomes more so on a motorcycle. Communicating to other drivers what your intentions are helps keep you safe.

    Lane-splitting, while legal in many states, is not legal in the state of Florida. Riders are permitted to ride two abreast in the same lane.

Use extreme caution when operating a motorcycle and take all possible precautions to make sure you have a long and healthy life of motorcycling enjoyment. Ride courteously and safely, and equip yourself and your bike properly. Car drivers, watch out for motorcycles! These simple safety tips can help you, your loved ones and everyone else on the road get where they’re going SAFELY.

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A few of CCPD’s motor units rolling on the department’s BMW R1200s.

A few of CCPD’s motor units rolling on the department’s BMW R1200s.

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Traffic Crash weekly summary:

Monday, June 10 through Sunday, June 23 2019 (a two week span), there were 171 traffic crashes worked by the Cape Coral Police Department.

REMINDER: If you have traffic concerns, you can submit them here: www.capecops.com/traffic. Your concern will be routed directly to the Traffic Unit for follow-up. Please be as detailed as possible to include things like days of week, times you are seeing the issue, or specific cars (if it is a particular vehicle with which you are having an issue).

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341

Fourth of July and the Legality of Fireworks

Fourth of July and the Legality of Fireworks

The tents are popping up all over Cape Coral selling fireworks because it’s that time of year again, and we want to let everyone know about which fireworks are legal to set off on the Fourth of July.

The Fourth of July is fast approaching and there have been numerous questions concerning the legality of purchasing and setting off fireworks. We understand that this is a day of celebration of our nation’s independence and that fireworks are usually a part of how people like to commemorate this holiday. 

So what is legal? Sparklers, fountains, glow worms, and snakes are legal. 

What is illegal? Any firework that explodes or leaves the ground is ILLEGAL. This includes, but is not limited to: firecrackers, M-80s, bottle rockets, roman candles, mortars, etc.   

So why are fireworks for sale at locations throughout the city? It is understandable that this can be very confusing. In the State of Florida there is a loophole in the law. Florida is primarily an agricultural state and the loophole in the law is for the benefit of agricultural operations to scare off birds and other pest animals. When you purchase prohibited fireworks from these vendors, you are presented with a waiver that you must sign to complete your purchase.  Now, we realize that many people don't read the waiver, but all that legalese that most people skip over explains this. The waiver is your promise that you are using these fireworks for agricultural purposes. The waiver protects the vendor, not you the customer.

Fireworks have been illegal for decades in Florida and every year, we respond to HUNDREDS of fireworks complaints around New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July. We expect this Fourth of July to be no different and will probably create an even higher call volume due to the holiday being on a Thursday. People have to be at work Friday morning and having fireworks going off throughout the night isn’t very conducive to a good night's sleep. The people who call in fireworks complaints are annoyed, and rightly so. The noise keeps people awake, disturbs pets, can cause an episode of those dealing with PTSD, the debris litters yards and roadways, and burns through screen enclosures. Be considerate to your fellow neighbors, there’s no reason to set off fireworks late into the night, this holiday isn’t New Years.  

What about enforcement? Our officers COULD issue citations and/or make arrests the first time they see a violation. The noise ordinance ticket will run you about $100 and the misdemeanor fireworks charge can run up to $1,000 with a year in jail! Let's be real. Nobody wants us out there rounding up people for shooting off a bottle rocket.  Also, since it is a misdemeanor, the officer must witness the violation occurring in order to make an arrest or issue a citation.  A lot of times, we arrive after the fireworks have gone off, or between volleys. Fortunately, our officers have the discretion to issue warnings and educate people as an alternative to citations or arrests. That is usually enough to get compliance and handle the complaint. If not, then we have the other tools at our disposal.  

The fact of the matter is, there are way more people buying and shooting off fireworks than there are officers on the street.  We get to the calls one at a time as fast as we can.  If you've been setting off prohibited fireworks in the past and never got the police called on you, it wasn't because it was legal before.  It was simply because you got lucky.  

Safety is also a major concern with setting off fireworks. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 12,900 firework-related injuries were treated in emergency departments and at least 8 firework-related deaths occurred in 2017.

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341

DUI Arrests June 16-20

DUI Arrests June 16-20

Cape Coral DUI Arrests June 16-20

ARRESTED: Nancy, Vergara,Ayala, W/F 07/08/1997,

4725 Barkley Circle #1, Fort Myers

CHARGES: DUI

Officer Stempel conducted a traffic stop for speeding 83 mph in a 35 mph zone. Upon speaking with Ms. Vergara Ayala, she displayed indicators of impairment. Officer Barkley assumed the investigation. Ms. Vergara Ayala performed poorly on the field evaluations. Ms. Vergara Ayala provided a BREATH TEST .187 and .186.

ARRESTED: STEPHANIE, LEDBETTER JOHN,B/F 01/06/1993,

1407 SW 11th Ave

CHARGES: DUI, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED

Officer Wilson conducted a traffic stop after Ms. Ledbetter John nearly crashed into SGT DeRosso’s marked patrol vehicle with emergency lights activated. Ms. Ledbetter John performed poorly on the field evaluations and provided a BREATH TEST: .150 and .142.

ARRESTED: ROBERT, HENRY, WERBALIS, (W/M 05/10/1975)

5209 York Ct

CHARGES: DUI

Officer Rush conducted a traffic stop for a stop sign violation. Mr. Werbalis displayed indicators of impairment and subsequently performed poorly on the field evaluations. BREATH TEST: REFUSED. 

 

ARRESTED: Daniel, Joseph, Hoyt, W/M 8-03-91,

1417 SW 21st Terrace

CHARGES: DUI .15 OR HIGHER, POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

Hoyt was stopped by Officer Myers for driving 66 mph in a 40 mph zone and having a broken tail light. Upon speaking with Hoyt, he showed signs of impairment. Hoyt performed poorly on field evaluations and was arrested for DUI.  BREATH TEST: .162 AND .154.



ARRESTED:Sarah, Patricia, Soltis, W/F 11-26-97,

4802 Manor Court

CHARGES: DUI

Soltis was stopped by Officer Zarrillo for driving 52 mph in a 40 mph zone and not wearing a seat belt. Upon speaking with Soltis, she showed signs of impairment. Soltis performed poorly on field evaluations and was arrested for DUI. BREATH TEST: REFUSED

ARRESTED: Ryan, Andrew, Falco, W/M 07/03/1993,

544 Catalina Dr, North Fort Myers, FL

CHARGES: DUI, CARRYING A CONCEALED FIREARM

Falco was stopped by Officer Leonard for driving 71 mph in a 50 mph zone. Falco appeared impaired which led to a DUI investigation. Search incident to arrest, a loaded Walther P22 was located inside the driver door panel obstructed from view. BREATH TEST: REFUSED