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Pedestrians, bike riders urged to obey the rules of the road
February 8, 2018

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In an effort to keep walkers and riders who share city streets with vehicular traffic safer, the Cape Coral Police Department will soon begin the enforcement stage of its Bike-Ped Operations initiative - "and violators should take heed," the agency advises.

In a safety-tip studded press release issued Thursday and posted to the CCPD web site, the department states that officers first focused on information - they distributed informational materials to violators to educate them "about applicable traffic laws, the importance of wearing a helmet, and other issues regarding bicycle and pedestrian safety."

Now, officers will begin to work areas of the Cape "where bicycle and pedestrian traffic is prevalent and will issue warnings and/or citations to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists who commit violations of Florida statutes."

The city goal is simple: Reduce crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

Phase two of the CCPD's Bike-Ped Operations will begin later this month and continue through March.

"Officers will be actively looking to enforce the rules of the road as they relate to pedestrian and bicycle traffic," the CCPD explains. "They will be looking to enforce the bicycle helmet laws in order to keep those cycling in the city safe."

As part of its final awareness phase, the CCPD reminds:

- Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk and if no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.

- Pedestrians and bicyclists should not wear headphones or talk on their cell phones.

- Pedestrians and bicyclists should cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections when possible and obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.

- Bicyclists should have their bicycle equipped with a white light on the front visible from a distance of 500 feet and a red light on the back visible from a distance of 600 feet, between sunset and sunrise during operation.

- Bicyclists operating on the roadway are subject to obeying all traffic control devices to include stop signs and lighted traffic signals.

- Bicyclists operating upon a sidewalk or crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.

Meanwhile, the CCPD also reminds drivers to be aware of unsafe practices that contribute to the problem:

- Speeding: (5 mph can make the difference between types of injuries)

- Failure to stop for red lights or stop signs

- Failure to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists

- Distracted driving

- Blocking crosswalks

- Turning on permitted light (green signal) but not looking for pedestrians properly crossing in the crosswalk; right and left turn crashes with pedestrians.

We thank the Cape Coral Police Department for its efforts - and we urge those who share the city's often busy roadways to take note of the safety tips the agency has stressed.

Cape Coral has already experienced two traffic fatalities for 2018.

Take care.

Be aware.

And, please, follow the laws intended for our protection.

- Breeze editorial

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