Sarasota Police Department continuing enhanced enforcement program for pedestrian and bicycle safety

Emphasis put on four road segments

Image courtesy FDOT

The Sarasota Police Department is continuing the High Visibility Enforcement program it began last year for pedestrian and bicycle safety, the department has announced.

The department received a grant for the program in September 2018, a news release explains. “The City of Sarasota ranks in the top 25 counties in the state of Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists,” the release points out.

“To protect the safety of the most vulnerable road users,” the release continues, the Sarasota Police Department will continue its High Visibility Enforcement Details (HVE) program until May. That initiative has been operating throughout the city of Sarasota, the release says, but focus has been put on several key roadways:

  • North Tamiami Trail (State Road 45) from Mound Street to University Parkway.
  • Main Street from North Tamiami Trail (State Road 45) to North Washington Boulevard (State Road 683).
  • Fruitville Road from North Tamiami Trail (State Road 45) to Beneva Road.
  • North Washington Boulevard (State Road 683) from Main Street to Myrtle Street.

The city roadways getting extra attention were chosen on the basis of crash data involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles, the release adds.

HVE details are funded through a contract with the University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM), “in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation’s focused initiative to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety,” the release notes.

The goal of this enforcement effort is to increase awareness of, and compliance with, traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, the release explains. “Enforcement efforts will focus primarily on education to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” the release continues. “However, violations may result in warnings or citations depending on the circumstances.”

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

All contacts with members of the public will be documented, the release notes, and results will be sent to the Florida Department of Transportation for evaluation at the conclusion of the safety campaign.