The Tallahassee Police Department has established a six-month patrolling initiative to improve protection and compliance for pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists. It went into effect Monday.
Tallahassee is among the top 15 cities in Florida for crashes resulting in serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Starting Nov. 1 through May 2022, traffic officers will be educating drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists about road safety.
The patrolling efforts will be conducted through a high visibility enforcement detail to reduce fatalities in Tallahassee. TPD’s goal is to enforce community traffic rules and promote safety awareness by educating everyone on using the roads.
Detective William C. Deming of TPD’s traffic unit says he’s expecting the community to give their full support based on the positive feedback he’s received since the initiation of the program.
“They’re honestly excited to see it based on all the pedestrian fatalities. While working in trafficking, the majority of the complaints are that pedestrians and drivers aren’t following laws,” Deming said.
Deming also provided a few tips for those on the road:
- Use crosswalks
- Always check for traffic in both directions before attempting to cross the street
- Follow the rules of the road
- Use lights at night and wear reflective clothing if possible
- Always wear a helmet
- Drive the speed limit, slow down when necessary
- Be cognisant of bike lanes and pedestrian crosswalks
- Drive safe, sober and non-distracted
Talgov lists the areas, times and days of proactive patrolling below:
- Monroe Street from Balsam Terrace to Callaway Road from 11 a.m. to midnight on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays
- West Pensacola Street from Appleyard Drive to Flamingo Way from 12-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
- West Tennessee Street from Tennessee Capital Boulevard to Anole Drive from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
- West Tennessee Street from Macomb Street to Meridian Street from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Jack Scott, a manager at a local restaurant, The Iron Daisy, says the downtown area is condensed and it’s not the safest for people traveling or working at night. He said he welcomes the patrolling initiative.
Tallahassee’s focused initiative was initiated in the Florida Department Of Transportation, which worked collaboratively with the city to provide the accurate messaging and infrastructure to ensure safety for everyone.
Trenda McPherson , an administrator with the division of traffic safety, said: “The new patrolling program is the city’s targeted approach to community policing through a community service campaign. This is an opportunity for our officers to engage with the community as well as educate them. This is an annual program, we’ve been focusing on making communities safer since 2014. We renew contracts every year.”
Both Detective Deming and Mcpherson agree that the program’s ultimate goal is to issue warnings, and to educate rather that write citations.
The patrolling officers on-duty will be handing out flyers, brochures and giving bike lights to bicyclists in need at no charge.