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Deputies increasing visibility after high deadly crash ranking

Palm Beach County ranks sixth in state for traffic crashes resulting in serious, fatal injuries to bicyclists, pedestrians
Posted at 5:55 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 08:07:29-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is conducting high visibility enforcement at specific intersections throughout central Palm Beach County to help reduce crashes that result in serious injury or death to pedestrians and bicyclists.

According to the PBSO, the county ranks sixth in Florida, for counties with a population of more than 200,000, for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to bicyclists and walkers. In 2020, the sheriff's office said, pedestrians and bicyclists were involved in 1,024 collisions that led to 138 serious injury crashes and 54 deaths.

The current effort began on Nov. 1, 2020. The special detail is funded through a contract with the University of North Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation's initiative to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Deputies said the goal of the enforcement effort is to increase awareness and compliance with traffic laws that protect the safety of walkers and bikers. While education is the main focus, deputies have written warnings or citations depending on the circumstances.

To prevent these types of crashes from happening, deputies remind drivers to obey speed limits, never drive impaired and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially in intersections.

The PBSO advises bicyclists to obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic flow and always use lights when riding at night. Pedestrians should cross in the crosswalk or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals and make sure they are visible to drivers at night.