In June and July the Fort Myers Police Department’s traffic unit along with patrol officers conducted 11 operations which focused on bicycle and pedestrian safety. The operations were conducted to enforce traffic laws designed to protect our bicyclists and pedestrians along with raising awareness and overall education to those who travel in the City of Fort Myers.
The 11 operations spread out over a two-month period resulted in officers writing 224 citations to both bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles for the following offenses:
• Improper crossing
• Riding against traffic
• Wearing headphones while operating (motor vehicles)
• Faulty/no safety equipment
The educational phase of the operations involved officers handing out free front and back lights for bicyclists and educational pamphlets detailing various safety reminders. Funding for the operations, equipment and literature were provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. The following are a few keys to pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle safety:
Pedestrians and bicyclists traveling at night should cross the street in a well-lit area and/or in designated crosswalks.
Pedestrians and bicyclists should wear bright/light and/or reflective clothing, making themselves visible to drivers.
Bicyclists operating on the roadway are subject to obeying all traffic control devices to include stop signs and lighted traffic signals.
Bicyclists should have their bicycle equipped with a white light on the front visible from a distance of 500 feet and a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet, between sunset and sunrise during operation.
Drivers should always be cognizant of pedestrians and bicyclists utilizing sidewalks, crosswalks and roadways. Drivers should exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclists, as they share rights on the roadway.
“The hope is to raise awareness through education and enforcement in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with the pedestrians and bicyclists who navigate our city streets,” said Special Operations Lieutenant Jay Rodriguez.