High Visibility Enforcement program to be implemented by Sarasota Police Department again in effort to improve pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ safety

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

Initiative will continue until May 2022

The Sarasota Police Department once again will be implementing a High Visibility Enforcement program to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, the department has announced.

“The City of Sarasota ranks in the top 25 cities in the state of Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists,” a news release points out.

“To protect the safety of the most vulnerable road users, the Sarasota Police Department will be conducting High Visibility Enforcement Details (HVE) from now until May 2022 throughout the City of Sarasota with a focus on several key roadways,” the release adds. Those roadways follow:

  • Siesta Drive to Bahia Vista Street in the South Tamiami Trail corridor.
  • 16th Street to Myrtle Street in the North Washington Boulevard (U.S. 301) corridor.
  • May Lane to Sylvan Drive in the North Tamiami Trail corridor.

Those segments were selected on the basis of crash data involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles, the release explains.

“HVE patrols are funded through a contract with the University of North Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation’s focused initiative to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety,” the release adds.
“The goal of the enforcement effort is to increase awareness of and compliance with traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists,” the release continues. Enforcement efforts will focus primarily on education to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” the release says. Violations may result in warnings or citations, depending on the circumstances, it notes.

“Safety doesn’t happen by accident,” Officer Jason Frank of the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit said in the release. “We’re going to work to educate every driver, pedestrian, and bicyclist to know and understand the rules of the road,” he added. “The safety of our community is our number one priority,” Frank pointed out in the release.

Officers remind the public of the following, the release continues:

  • “Drivers — Obey speed limits, never drive impaired, and always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • “Bicyclists — Obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic, and use lights when riding at night.
  • “Pedestrians — Cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals, and make sure you are visible to drivers when walking at night.”

All contacts with residents and visitors in the City of Sarasota will be documented, and results will be sent to the Florida Department of Transportation for evaluation at the end of the safety campaign, the release notes.