ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The St. Petersburg Police Department is working to make roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Officials say the number of pedestrians that have died on city streets has doubled over the last year.READ MORE: 98 Children Drowned In 2021, Local Swim Instructors Encourage Swim Lessons For Babies
St. Petersburg Police say they will be focusing on dangerous streets and taking an educational approach, by passing out flyers and information to teach drivers and pedestrians how to travel safely.
Tesha Jones lives in St. Petersburg and says she has noticed a lot of people walking or riding their bikes don’t follow the rules of the road.
“I just know the pedestrians are always on the streets, always people walking around. They don’t need to jay-walk. They need to wait and stuff like that,” said Jones.
The St. Petersburg Police Department says so far this year, 14 pedestrians have died from traffic crashes in the city, and last year that number was seven.
Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Department says “I know last year we had fewer cars on the road because of COVID-19, but even if you go back years before that, this is kind of a record year for us.”READ MORE: Sarasota Man Arrested In Connection To Fatal Shooting At Ackerman Park
She says there might be a reason for the increase.
“We’re a busier city, more people are using bicycles to get around. More people are walking, it’s more of a walkable city,” said Fernandez.
The St. Petersburg Police Department received a grant from the state that will pay for law enforcement to patrol the most dangerous streets in the city.
“Giving out information, giving out bike lights, talking to people, saying ‘hey we saw you cross six lanes of traffic diagonally on a busy street, please us the crosswalk,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez says the goal is not to give out tickets, but rather educate drivers and pedestrians, something jones says will help.MORE NEWS: Brothers Arrested And Facing Charges For Shooting Into Vehicle
“No one needs to lose their life on account of no one paying attention,” said Jones.