Crackdown on cyclists without helmets kicks up

Posted at 6:55 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 18:55:25-04
During Bicycle safety awareness month Cape Coral police will be kicking up their crackdown on cyclists who don't wear helmets. 
It's part of CCPD's safety initiative called Bike-Ped Operation, which was made possible through a $20,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. 
"It is much more likely that if they encounter a police officer who's stopping them for a violation that they are going to be cited,' said Detective Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police. 
This is the second phase of the operation; back in April, traffic enforcement officers stopped 97 cyclists for various traffic violations including not wearing a helmet. At that time, cyclists were only issued a warning and given safety rules. 
"The first part of this operation was all about education the second part now is about enforcement," said Det. Sgt. Coston
Part of that enforcement will include citing cyclists under the age of 16 who aren't wearing a helmet. Resolving the citation requires showing proof of owning a helmet. If your child is cited and the ticket is not paid it could result in serious implications. 
"That could lead to more serious consequences later on. If they don't have a driver's license the state of Florida can issue and then suspend it," said Coston. 
Parents who spoke to Fox 4 said they supported the initiative. Cape Coral resident Marylin Banfield, whose husband was hit several times while riding his bike, says she likes the idea of enforcing the use of helmets for minors.  
"He has been hit a couple of times, so it is very imperative that the word gets out to everybody that nobody should be on a bicycle without a helmet," said Banfield.
Cape Coral police officers will be conducting the Bike-Ped operation at intersections with high bicycle and pedestrian traffic.