High Traffic Areas Getting Extra Attention as Maitland Police Try to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
FLORIDA - Clickorlando.com writes that Florida has more pedestrian deaths than any other state and that Orange County is has a higher rate of pedestrian crashes than any other county in the state. Police are warning pedestrians that while they have the right of way, they are putting themselves at risk when they cross the road outside of crosswalks.
Distracted driving is one of the likely causes for the high pedestrian fatality rate in the state.
According to the Maitland Police Traffic Safety Officer, there have been 13 pedestrian deaths in Orange County since January, and thee cyclists killed as well. So far, across the state, there have been 131 pedestrians killed and 24 cyclists in 2019.
Part of Florida’s effort to prevent these tragic accidents, the state is training officers in High Visibility Enforcement (HVE). Officers trained in HVE focus on reckless drivers and on pedestrians who often inadvertently put themselves at risk on Florida’s roads.
Officers in the program say that it is primarily about education. The officers identify risky behaviors, like crossing outside of a crosswalk and alert the individuals of the risks they are taking. HVE programs are not geared toward writing citations.
The warnings are intended to change pedestrian behaviors.
Officers in the program say that it is proving successful.
While HVE programs focus on pedestrian behaviors, other states are working to lower pedestrian fatalities by focusing on drivers, intersection infrastructure and reducing speed limits. Programs like Vision Zero have shown the ability to lower pedestrian fatalities in busy cities like New York. The plans are proof that pedestrian deaths are not inevitable, and that there are steps states and towns can take to make everyone safer on the road.
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