(May 19, 2015)-  After months of preparation and thousands of miles ridden in training, Cape Coral Police Officers took to the streets beginning on March 7, 2015 on bicycles and in cars to conduct High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) operations focusing on bicycle and pedestrian safety.

The funding for these operations was provided through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for High Visibility Enforcement addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Officers focused on areas of the city where bicycle and pedestrian traffic is most prevalent and distributed educational materials, issued warnings and/or citations to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists who committed violation of Florida statutes.  The main objective of this effort was to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists through the use of selective traffic education and enforcement operations.

This campaign was a component of Florida's Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative Communication & High Visibility Enforcement Implementation under the direction of the Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida.

The results of the High Visibility Operations are as follows:

HVE Officer Hours spent:  718
Motorist Contacts:  239 Written Warnings/ 23 Uniform Traffic Citations
Pedestrian Contacts:  118 Written Warnings
Bicycle Contacts:  325 Written Warnings

In addition to warnings or citations, everyone contacted was given an informational pamphlet on bicycle and pedestrian laws.

"Even though this grant has come to a conclusion, the Cape Coral Police Department is committed to continued enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian laws in Cape Coral.  We want everyone to share the road and get where they are going safely."- Det. Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Information based on the following Florida State Statutes: 

F.S.S. 316.130 Pedestrians; traffic regulations. (1 through 18)
F.S.S. 316.2065 Bicycle regulations. (1 through 19)

  • Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk and if no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should not wear headphones or talk on their cell phones.  
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections when possible and obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
  • Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and watch out for cars turning or backing from driveways or streets.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists traveling at night should cross the street in a well-lit area and/or in designated crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should wear bright/light and/or reflective clothing, making themselves visible to drivers.
  • Walking or biking while impaired increases your chances of being struck.  STAY SOBER.
  • Bicyclists should have their bicycle equipped with a white light on the front visible from a distance of 500 feet and a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet, between sunset and sunrise during operation.
  • Pedestrians should carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Bicyclists should wear a bicycle helmet for safety. Florida law only requires bicycle riders and passengers under the age of 16 yoa to wear a bicycle safety helmet during operation of the bicycle.
  • Bicyclists operating on the roadway are subject to obeying all traffic control devices to include stop signs and lighted traffic signals.
  • Pedestrians crossing the roadway at any other point other than a cross-walked intersection should yield the right-of-way to motor vehicles and cross at a right angle or shortest possible route to the opposite curb.
  • Drivers should always be cognizant of pedestrians and bicyclists utilizing sidewalks, crosswalks and roadways.  Drivers should exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclists, as they share rights on the roadway.
  • Bicyclists operating upon a sidewalk or crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.
  • All bicycles operated upon the roadway or sidewalk shall be equipped with brakes enabling the bicycle to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 MPH.
  • Any person operating a bicycle is required to keep at least one hand on the handlebars while in operation.
  • Parking lots and on-street parking spaces are common places for pedestrian crashes, be cognizant of backup lights on vehicles and engine noise.  Also, do not walk directly behind vehicles but several feet away from rear or front of vehicle to allow the driver to see you.
  • Older adults should be cognizant of the crossing timer at lighted intersections and ensure not to start crossing late in the countdown.
  • Older adults tend to have too much trust in the road safety system  and need to re-educate themselves on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Unsafe driver behavior associated with pedestrian and bicycle violations, crashes and fatalities:

  • Speeding (5 MPH can make the difference between types of injuries)
  • Failure to stop for red lights or stop signs
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Distracted driving
  • Blocking crosswalks
  • Turning on permitted light (green signal) but not looking for pedestrian properly crossing in crosswalk -Right and Left turn crashes with pedestrian.

Link to original news release: Cape Coral Police Department Begins Bike-Ped Enforcement Operations

###


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