Officers cracking down on dangerous driving in Pinellas County

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An East Lake High School student was recovering in the hospital Wednesday after she was hit by a car while riding her bike to school.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Janeva Buczynski, 15, tried to cross East Lake Road right in front of the school. But troopers said the light was green and a car slammed into Janeva.

Family friends told FOX 13 the teenager's loved ones are optimistic about her recovery.

"She's doing okay, still critical, hope for the best. It's a tragic time because it's before the holidays," said Madeleine Kolb, whose daughter is friends with Janeva. "It's heart-breaking. It hits very close to home. There's not a day that there's not one or, if not, even two accidents [near the school]."

That area of Tarpon Springs is far from the only problem area in Pinellas County.

About 20 miles away in St. Petersburg, police began a crackdown on unsafe habits on the road. The effort comes followings a spike in deadly accidents in the city; 40 people have died so far this year, compared to 25 in 2017. In November alone, 13 people were killed.

"We're out here because of the increased fatalities in the month of November," said Officer Edward Borrelli. "We're hoping this is just an anomaly and this just goes down just as a normal course of business."

Borrelli said a lot of the accidents involved pedestrians and motorcyclists.

"Vehicles are turning left in front of motorcycles, they don't necessarily see them and motorcyclists are necessarily wearing helmets in 80 percent of the cases," he said. "[Pedestrians] are wearing dark clothing and they're walking from a position of safety into vehicles."

The effort by St. Petersburg police will continue the rest of the week and will include a DUI crackdown Thursday night.