(February 24, 2023) – Miami-Dade County ranks in the top 25 counties in Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. To help reverse this trend, the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department is participating in the Florida Department of Transportation High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) Program aimed at educating motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on Florida’s traffic laws to improve safety on our roads.
Starting this month through May 2023, our PD will have additional officers on patrol at specific corridors with a high occurrence of pedestrians and bicyclists’ crashes. Special attention will be directed towards increasing awareness of the dangerous behaviors that are contributing to serious and fatal injuries at these locations. Officers will look for drivers speeding, failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, conducting improper turns or signal violations, and using hand-held devices while driving.
Officers also will watch for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to motorists who have right-of-way. Bicyclists will be stopped for riding against traffic, riding at night without lights or not abiding by the same laws as motor vehicles. Officers will issue warnings and citations only when appropriate.
“Whether you are on foot, behind the wheel, or on a bike, you have a responsibility to share the road safely,” said Chief Edward Santiago. “Understanding the rules of the road helps ensure we all arrive at our destination safely and makes our streets safer for everyone.”
Funding for this program is provided through a contract with University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Sunny Isles Beach Police Department will receive funds for overtime hours for officers to conduct operations and for special training on Florida’s bicycle and pedestrian laws, procedures and best practices.
To keep the public safe, the Sunny Isles Beach PD offers the following tips when biking, driving or walking:
- Drivers: obey speed limits, never drive impaired, and always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Bicyclists: obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic, and use lights when riding at night
- Pedestrians: cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals, and make sure you are visible to drivers when walking at night
About Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Bicycle and Pedestrian Focused Initiative: The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) developed Florida’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative in 2011 to lead all efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the state. The public education campaign was branded “Alert Today Florida.” The goal of this initiative is to eliminate traffic crashes on Florida’s roads that result in serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. Objectives include advancing data collection, analysis, and evaluation to guide the implementation of comprehensive safety strategies directed towards areas with the highest representation of traffic crashes resulting in serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. Additional information about pedestrian and bicycle safety is available at www.alerttodayflorida.com.