Gainesville Police Department stepping up to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe on Gainesville roadways

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to result in fatal or serious injuries than any other type of crash.

Since February, the Gainesville Police Department has increased the number of patrol officers to raise awareness and encourage a culture of safety on city streets by conducting high visibility enforcement operations at locations with the highest number of traffic crashes resulting in serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.

So far, the Gainesville Police Department has produced the following results:

  • 157 Bicyclist Contacts
  • 454 Pedestrian Contacts
  • 165 Motorist Contacts

Alachua County ranks in the top 25 counties in Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) efforts such as these are crash mitigation tools designed to deter unsafe behaviors of all road users and increase voluntary compliance with traffic laws.

Funding for this program is provided through a contract with the University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Gainesville 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 Gainesville Police Department 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.
  • How about you just start enforcing traffic laws once again? This isn’t that hard. Awareness campaigns like this are a money wasting joke.

    • True… once upon a time there were eight or so police motorcycles that struck fear into the hearts of Gainesville drivers. Everyone knew those motorcycles could be anywhere at any time, lurking, waiting to pounce on the driving public. Roads seemed under control, and traffic homicides were at a minimum…a virtuous thought nowadays…

      • The problem is much more the fault of the pedestrians and cyclists not obeying the law, not the motorists. Look at the numbers. In the last awareness drive, it was the pedestrians/cyclists 10:1 versus the drivers. But the police ticketed no one except drivers. Funny how that worked.

        • I am a bicyclist and I follow the law. I wear a helmet, have proper lights, and only use crosswalks when allowed. Yet drivers drive into crosswalks when I am in the crosswalk!! Please watch!!

        • Rogers Corner – I totally agree. I was leaving work at two student on skateboards were riding in the middle of the road. I pressed the horn and they turned around and gave me the finger. I

  • This isn’t really that helpful. If they can have protected bike lanes in Brazil we should be able to have them here. Otherwise this is just band-aid window dressing.

  • How many tickets for violations has GPD given the pedestrians and cyclists? Last time it was zero. If they started fining these violators and announced it, the problem would rapidly lessen. They are the ones who cause the problem most of the time.

    • You are so right, the two times I have almost been struck by a car were definitely my fault. I encouraged one driver to run a stop sign and the other driver the misfortune of turning left into my path while I was in the flow of traffic. How dare I cause such issues. If you ever rode a bike, you would be shocked at how many people are not paying attention but do not care. I obey the traffic laws both on my bike and in my car, but I agree that some cyclists don’t. But it’s been my experience it’s the drivers of vehicles that cause most of the problems.

      • As a bicyclist, I’ll just say that you have to drive very defensively if you are using a bike. Do not assume drivers can see you, and be alert for drivers pulling out of side streets or making right turns in front of you. You have to remember that you are on a 35 lb vehicle and no matter who is right, you will lose in collision with a 3500 lb vehicle.

      • Yeah, ride as if no one can see you. That means no bright yellow vest, orange flag mounted on your bike, etc. No huge concerns with traffic laws, either, or some car probably will hit you from behind if you are stopping for every neighborhood stop sign on your bike like an old lady. Don’t do stupid things like riding the wrong way on the sidewalk.

  • 28 years watching the little Dutch boy try to plug holes in the dyke with his fingers.
    This is how it works at GPD. Have a fatality issue somewhere, grant money comes in, round up what’s left of the traffic unit and make ‘public contacts.’
    What generally happens is a fishing event for criminal violations.
    Don’t believe it, go watch them at work. Can’t have the mean ole police writing tickets to college kids, might hurt their feelings.

  • They could double their money if they enforced the laws already on the books related to school zones. I could write 10 speeding citations a morning just at Stephen Foster with the people who blow through that intersection. Add in another 8 or so on cell phones and I’ve made more than my quota for the month.
    Maybe they’re afraid of being accused of “profiling.”

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