ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has officially begun phase two of their project to increase pedestrian and cyclist's safety along busy roads and intersections in the county.
During phase one of their campaign, PCSO mainly focused on educating pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists on what the rules of the road are when it comes to pedestrian safety. During phase two, deputies will focus on enforcing those regulations.
The busy roads and fast cars along many streets in Pinellas County can make it difficult for those on a bike or on foot to get to their destinations safely.
"The traffic is really bad, especially at nighttime. There really isn't any bright lights around here, and then people all time are drinking, because there are a lot of clubs up this street. It's basically a highway," said Lesley Davenport, a cyclist who frequently rides his bike along busy 34th Street.
Over the past year, pedestrian safety is something that agencies throughout the Bay Area have focused on due to the many deaths that have happened as a result of a lack of awareness from both pedestrians and drives.
The goal of PCSO's campaign is to crack down on both pedestrians and drivers who are breaking the law, with the hopes of creating a safer environment for those traveling along the busy streets.
"We're seeing pedestrians that are not using crosswalks, or if they are using crosswalks, they're violating the traffic control device that tells them when they should be crossing. We see motorists who aren't stopping or yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, and motorists not stopping at traffic lights," said Sgt. Spencer Gross with PCSO.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has identified eight of the busiest roads and intersections in their county.
For the past three months, they've been reminding travelers in those areas about the rules of the road when it comes to pedestrian safety.
However, now, if you're caught breaking the law, you could be looking at a pretty pricey ticket.
"Through discretion, they will likely be issuing citations for these violations. We see a lot of our violators are repeat violators, and we hope that we've educated enough people that they get the message how important it is to be safe," said Gross.
Some pedestrians who travel along the busy Pinellas County roadways are thankful for the added support from law enforcement, but they said that those traveling on foot and bike should also be doing their part to stay safe.
"Following the signs during the day, you need to. It's a jungle out here," said Tom Payne, a pedestrian in the area.
PCSO's project will conclude in May of 2019. However, deputies will still be hard at work enforcing pedestrian safety laws long after the campaign concludes.