Tallahassee Police Department rolls out pedestrian, bike safety enforcement plan

The Tallahassee Police Department is putting a new focus on pedestrian and bike safety on the roadways.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:28 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee Police Department is putting a new focus on pedestrian and bike safety on the roadways.

Through a contract with the University of North Florida and a grant the university received through the Florida Department of Transportation, the police department has identified five locations throughout the city where officers will be working overtime details to target pedestrian violations, bike violations and interactions with drivers in those instances.

“We’re there to educate the driver, not just cite them, but you could issue a ticket,” said Detective Jim Harris.

Harris said the department is trying to limit dangerous interactions between drivers and pedestrians through “education with minimal enforcement that’s needed.”

The department was awarded the contract in November with UNF and the contract will run through May, at which point the data collected will be provided to FDOT.

According to TPD, Tallahassee is one of the top 15 cities in the state for traffic crashes resulting in serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.

“A lot of our interactions with pedestrians is to try and remind them if they’re crossing the middle of the street when there’s a crosswalk maybe 20 to 30 feet away, use that crosswalk,” Harris said.

For drivers, Harris said the educational focus will be on maintaining speed limits, staying off the phone while driving and minimizing distractions “so that you’re always looking for someone or something that pops out from a side street and runs across the road.”

Penalties in the instance of pedestrian versus vehicle crashes range greatly and depend on a multitude of factors.

“You’re looking for it there’s a crime, if there’s intent and a lot of those are traffic tickets but it’s a civil issue in the state,” Harris said.

Harris said in the instance of a pedestrian versus vehicle crash drivers are supposed to stay on the scene and talk to investigators.

“If you’re not drunk, and you’re not on drugs it was a traffic accident, we conduct our investigation and everybody moves on,” Harris said.

Harris said over the past six weeks the department has issued educational fliers and pamphlets to nearly 600 people, drivers and pedestrians, in Tallahassee and provided written warnings to drivers found in violation.

The department was given five locations throughout the city by the DOT that they are focusing their enforcement at. Officers are working overtime details in those locations at different times, and days, throughout the week specifically targeting pedestrian, bike, or vehicle violations.

TPD will be conducting their proactive patrols through May 2023 in those pre-determined areas through what they’re calling “High Visibility Enforcement.”

Below are the locations where the enforcement patrols will be deployed:

  • Monroe Street from Torreya Drive to Callaway Road from 3 a.m. to midnight on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • West Pensacola Street from Appleyard Drive to Flamingo Way from noon to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • West Tennessee Street from Copeland Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Capital Circle NW from W Tennessee Street to Peddie Road from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Orange Avenue from Pasco Street to South Meridian Street from 2 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.