Through May, Sarasota Police Department continuing High Visibility Enforcement Program to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety

Key roads in city of Sarasota being targeted for educational efforts

Image courtesy FDOT

The Sarasota Police Department is continuing to implement a High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) program to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the city of Sarasota, the department has announced.

“Since launching the program in August 2020, the Sarasota Police Department has dedicated more than 210 hours to HVE,” a news release notes. As of Feb. 3, the release adds, officers have had contact with 613 people in connection with the initiative.

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, the release explains. “To protect the safety of the most vulnerable road users,” the release says, the Police Department will be conducting HVE through May in the city of Sarasota, with a focus on several key roadways,  including Fruitville Road, North Tamiami Trail, South Tamiami Trail, and U.S. 301/North Washington Boulevard.

The roadways were chosen on the basis of crash data involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles, the release points out.

“HVE details 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. Enforcement efforts will focus primarily on education to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” the release notes. “However, violations may result in warnings or citations depending on the circumstances.”

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

Members of the public are encouraged to remember the following, the release says:

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