FHP launches Operation P.E.D.S.

Posted at 7:23 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 19:23:52-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Florida Highway Patrol held operation P.E.D.S. on U.S. 41, Tuesday. 

The acronym stands for Pedestrian Education and Developing Safety, and aims to decrease the number of injuries and deaths through education and enforcement details in areas prone to pedestrian and bicycle crashes. According to FHP, some of those areas include Palm Beach Boulevard, Lee Boulevard and Bayshore Road. 

So far in 2016, there have been over 270 pedestrian and bicycle crashes, 19 of those were fatalities. "Our statistics have shown there's a large percentage of those crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians on this stretch of roadway here," said FHP Sgt. Jeff Rongish, referring to U.S. 41. 

Sgt Rongish stresses pedestrians also share responsibility when it comes to staying safe. Here are some of his tips:

- Use crosswalks and sidewalks when possible

- Don't assume the driver sees you

- Make yourself seen by wearing reflective clothing at night

- Keep your distance when walking around trucks carrying wide loads

Tuesday's operation resulted in 24 educational contacts between FHP officers and pedestrians, and installed 6 bicycle lights for people riding in the area. "We're trying to save lives. We want to keep our citizens safe and we want to keep our visitors safe as they travel through this area."