GPD participates in High Visibility Enforcement Program to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Alachua 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 Gainesville 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 city roads.

Starting this month through May 2023, the Gainesville Police Department will have additional officers on patrol at specific corridors with a high occurrence of pedestrian and bicycle 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 will watch for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to motorists who have the 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 Sgt. Valdes of the Traffic Unit. “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 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

  • You know I never see GPD enforcing Jay walking or Bicycle rules, and rarely see them enforce traffic laws anymore. As a matter of fact I’ve counted many not following the driving rules themselves. I know they are short staffed but when doing nothing but sitting and there are traffic violations all around you I can’t buy that it is a lack of officers.

    • It’s not a lack of officers, it’s a lack of interest. That’s generally what happens when officers don’t receive support from the community or leadership.

    • Sometimes you have to wonder why they need 4 or 5 cop cars for one traffic stop. It can be even more than that. I think we need fresh thinking at GPD (from Miami or some other place that has a lot better law and order than we have here in Gangsville). Give Scott a position similar to Jones if he wants to keep working. This is a chance for Harvey Ward, Jr. to show whether he is really a giant slug (Jabba the Hutt) or whether he can rise to the occasion and make transformative change even if it ruffles a few feathers and takes some extra work.

  • Are they issuing citations for not crossing in a cross walk or crossing when they don’t have the right away? Seems this only goes against law abiding vehicle operators and totally ignores the fact that these college educated kids can’t crack the cross walk signal code and just follow the law. And don’t hwy me started about homeless in the medians. How about we follow the laws currently on the books, for pedestrians. City of Gainesville always makes car drivers the bad guys. When in fact it’s the pedestrians and vagrants creating the problems. Problem is the college runs this town not the people.

    • Sorry Floyd!

      Automobile drivers are the focus group, and I don’t mean those driving while impaired, committing drive by shootings, running red lights, running stop lights, laying down and sleeping or texting while driving!

      Nope, the GNV CC and GPD is going to focus on normal drivers trying to navigate their way through the zig-zagging scooters, the jaywalkers, the beggars on every corner whether it is 6′ wide or not, those walking when the damn light says they should not cross!

      Please don’t say you expect them to fine anyone texting and driving! The texters certainly have a right to hold up traffic while they catch up on the latest gossip!

  • Youngest city per capita in Florida. Lots of distracted drivers. Lots of FAST drivers and lots of bicycles riding close to the things cited above. Recipe for disasters.

  • If this attempt at reducing crashes & pedestrian injuries was not outside funded it wouldn’t have happened.
    You can take this to the bank…the high profile presence will turn into a detail of non-traffic arrest. If you even look like a doper, thug or are known to the cops, you will get pulled over.
    Arrest and stats make the upper echelon happy at GPD.

  • Can they get the panhandlers out of the street medians? That’s a big distraction and safety hazzard.

    • P Floyd… it’s not a distraction for leadership, they do a pretty good job of ignoring them. It’s the rest if us who have to deal with the strays they keep inviting.

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