Sarasota Police Department completes latest High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) program

Officers focus on educating drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians on roadways found to have most problems with crashes

Image courtesy FDOT

The Sarasota Police Department has completed its latest High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) program in an effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, the agency announced on May 22.

“The City of Sarasota ranks in the top 25 cities in the state of Florida for traffic crashes that result in serious injuries and/or fatalities to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle operators,” a news release points out.

To protect “the most vulnerable road users, the Sarasota Police Department conducted High Visibility Enforcement Details (HVE) from August 2023” through May 10, within the city of Sarasota, the release explains. The focus was on several key roadways, the release notes:

  • U.S. 41 (State Road [SR] 45) from Webber Street to Hibiscus Street.
  • U.S. 301 (SR 683) from 12th Street to 24th Street.
  • Fruitville Road (SR 780) from Tarpon Avenue to Midwest Parkway.
  • U.S. 41 (SR 45) from Arlington Street to Bahia Vista Street.
  • U.S. 41 (SR 45) from May Lane to Gary Drive.

These locations were not chosen by the Sarasota Police Department, the release points out; instead, they were determined on the basis of crash data involving serious bodily injuries or deaths.

In addition to their normal patrol duties, the members of the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit spent an extra 376 hours “educating bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists and enforcing traffic laws,” the release continues. Officers spoke with more than 1,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists after observing the following types of actions, the release says:

  • Improper crossings of roads.
  • Failure to cross at designated crosswalks.
  • Riding bicycles in the wrong direction.
  • Crossing diagonally through intersections.

Police officers advise the public to remember the following, the release adds:

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

All contacts with residents and visitors in the city of Sarasota as part of the HVE campaign will be documented, with the results sent to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for evaluation, the release explains.

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