Pinellas Park Police Officers recently began a high visibility traffic enforcement campaign aimed at increasing awareness and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
The police department recently received a grant of more than $24,816 from the Florida Department of Transportation aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. The grant funding is being utilized to fund additional traffic enforcement on major roadways for the purpose of education and compliance of traffic laws that when violated; increase the safety risks to pedestrians and bicyclists.
“The goal of is this high visibility enforcement campaign is to improve the safety on Pinellas Park roadways for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
It is our goal to accomplish this through education and warnings but officers will issue citations with civil fines when appropriate,” said Sergeant Tai Ku, the Special Operations supervisor. “One injury or death that is prevented makes our efforts meaningful”.
Officers will be distributing education materials to violators and initially issuing violation warnings. Over the next few weeks, officers will transition to an enforcement phase later within this wave.
We will use several weeks to educate the public. Our officers will be providing information to the violators they encounter to educate them on the law and the tragedies that can occur.
Through our pedestrian efforts, our officers will also educate motorists to make sure they yield to pedestrians within crosswalks and any other violations. These violations will later be enforced through civil penalties.
Two officers will work per detail, four hours at a time and two times a week.
The details will be at varied times and days of the week.11
Some of the locations for the effort include SR 55 (US Highway 19), 49th St, Park Blvd (SR 694), and 66th St (SR 693).
In many of those locations, pedestrians often don’t take the extra time to walk to a traffic signal at an intersection and use the crosswalk there to safely cross the street. They cross whenever and wherever they want to, putting their lives at risk.
“Our roadways are congested and this causes confusion for some people. Safety starts on the individual level, and we must all be willing to do our part,”
Sergeant Ku said. “Ultimately we want to see a decline in bodily injury crashes and traffic fatalities. We want our citizens to be responsible so they may arrive at their destination unharmed”.