According to the Florida Department of highway safety, Broward County had the highest number of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in the state. In 2014, over 600 pedestrian accident deaths occurred statewide. Most of these accidents happened during the dusk and night time hours when people were harder to see. Accidents happen most frequently when people are crossing the street rather than walking on the side of the road as one might expect. Most bus stops are located in between traffic intersections and people who are on foot and want to catch a bus will sometimes cross up to 12 lanes of traffic to avoid having to walk the extra mile or so to and around the next intersection which would be a safer place to cross. Law enforcement officials state that pedestrian and bicycle accidents present a bigger problem than motor vehicle accidents in our state. Officials fear that not enough is being done to educate the public about pedestrian and bicycle safety laws that are in place to reduce accidents.
The Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida Center for Urban and Transportation Research have teamed with Broward County law enforcement officials to kick off the “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” campaign in order to attempt to reduce pedestrian and bicycle accidents. The campaign will run through May 2016 and local law enforcement workers will hand out brochures to pedestrians and cyclists as well as issue citations and warnings to lawbreakers. The campaign will take place throughout Broward county in areas where pedestrian and bicycle accidents are frequently occurring such as Ft. Lauderdale, Sunrise, and Pompano in places where jaywalking accidents occur frequently such as where people are crossing the highway to get from one shopping mall to another.
In order to reduce pedestrian accidents, police want pedestrians to use designated crosswalks at major intersections to cross the highway. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear reflective clothing when walking along the side of the road or crossing the highway so that motorists can see them in the evening and at night when visibility is poor.