Officers cracking down on pedestrian, bicycle violations

Law enforcement agencies across the Bay area, like the Clearwater Police Department, have been given grants to educate and enforce pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Since December, CPD officers been out talking to people on the streets. They're now giving violators written warnings. Citations will be given starting in April. It'll cost violators $62.50.

"No matter what jurisdiction you're at in the Tampa Bay area, we see far too many people that are getting struck and injured, or struck and killed by cars, simply because they won't take the time to use a crosswalk," said Rob Shaw, Clearwater Police spokesperson. "They won't take the time to go to an intersection the way that they should." 

It's a reoccurring problem. But, it's a problem that can be easily fixed, simply by obeying the laws.

"In the city, you've got all of these crossing buttons that you can push, and I think the Clearwater Police said there's a lot of people that don't bother to push the button so, c'mon it's not that hard," said Victor Kremar, a concerned citizen. "Do it right!"

Crashes involving pedestrians have gone down over the last couple of years in Clearwater, and fatal accidents were down 57% last year compared to 2016.

Still, some people continue to put their own lives at risk, along with those behind the wheel.

"Just think about the nightmare for the driver who might hit you," said Shaw.   

"Take the extra time. I mean, if it takes you an extra minute to go to a crosswalk, to go to a lighted intersection, that minute is worth the cost of your life," he added.  

Reducing the number of traffic fatalities is a priority for Clearwater Police. It's all a part of the department's strategic plan. 

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