The traffic accident that occurred last weekend at the corner of NW 17th Street and West University Avenue, taking the life of a University of Florida student, is a tragedy. The Gainesville Police Department’s (GPD) investigation into this accident continues in earnest, as our Traffic Homicide Investigation Unit seeks to determine the factors which may have contributed to this unfortunate incident.
In response to this accident, as well as the ones that took the lives of UF students in December 2020 at the 2100 block of West University Avenue and in January 2020 at the 5900 block of East University Avenue, plus other vehicular crashes involving pedestrians in and around the University of Florida, GPD is initiating an enhanced traffic enforcement program called “Gator STEP (Special Traffic Enforcement Program).” This program will be part of a larger community-wide effort, as GPD works alongside other City of Gainesville, University of Florida, and State of Florida entities to educate and provide for the safety of our Gainesville and University neighbors.
In conjunction with the University of Florida Police Department, Gator STEP will conduct high-visibility traffic enforcement along roadways contingent to UF, including West University Avenue, SW Archer Road, SW 34th Street, and SW 13th Street, as well as other roadways throughout the City of Gainesville. Our focus will be on crosswalk, pedestrian, speeding, and scooter safety violations. GPD will also conduct a crash analysis of the area between 1300 West University Avenue and 2200 West University Avenue, to identify the nature and/or types of crashes that occur there and to identify any preventive measures that might be undertaken in the designated area. Scheduled DUI enforcement details will also be included around these roadways.
Traffic safety is a responsibility all our neighbors need to be aware of. Although GPD issued 9,673 traffic citations and 3,121 traffic warnings last year, we believe Gator STEP will help us and the community identify additional means to address the recent traffic accidents that have occurred near the UF campus.
GPD welcomes the public’s input and cooperation and pledges to continue to work with local and statewide leaders to address the nature of these traffic accidents.
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