GPD starts high visibility enforcement campaign

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD) will begin a high visibility enforcement effort after receiving a $27,000 contract from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Institute of Police Technology.

GPD spokesperson Graham Glover said the money received will go to educating the public by handing out flyers and talking to people in the high-risk traffic areas identified by FDOT.

According to a GPD press release, the project intends to raise awareness of and obedience to traffic laws that protect pedestrians and bicyclists. The effort will focus on University Avenue, SW 13th Street, NW 39th Avenue, SW 34th Street and SW Archer Road.

“There will be some overtime details that our officers will sign up for and be out on those specific roads,” Graham said in a phone interview. “This will be more one-on-one engagement with pedestrians that are out on those roads, bicyclists as they come by and are stopped waiting at stoplights, and traffic walks to automobiles as they are coming by.”

Pedestrian safety is an ongoing concern along University Avenue, and the Gainesville City Commission greenlighted moving forward with changes to the street’s design.

“It’s just to bring awareness to your surroundings for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles being aware of one another,” Graham said. “These areas have been identified as high traffic patterns for all three, and you can put e-scooters in there now and obviously when you’re on [the UF] campus you’re talking to scooter drivers. Those areas have high traffic patterns with all entities involved and that’s what causes incidents to occur.”

The high visibility enforcement effort starts this month and will run through May 2022.

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