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MPO Gets Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Initiative Update


"Crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians are more likely to result in fatal or serious injuries than any other types of crashes, and the financial impacts and suffering caused by these crashes are significant," reads an FDOT Brochure on the subject. At Tuesday's MPO meeting, the board was brought up to speed on the importance of protecting non-vehicle traffic on our roadways.

If you are on a bicycle or walking down the street and are hit by a vehicle moving at 20 MPH, you stand a 90 percent chance of not dying, a 50-percent chance of being killed at 30 MPH, and a 10 percent chance of surviving if hit a 40 MPH. 

FDOT District One Secretary of Transportation, Billy Hathaway, delivered a presentation at Monday's Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting. Hathaway was chosen three years ago to promote the initiative of piloting Florida's Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative.

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad appointed Hathaway to find out how to reduce the number of pedestrians and bicyclist being killed on Florida roads.

In Florida, 10 pedestrians are killed every week and more than two bicyclist die from injuries in the same time period. 

Hathaway bikes thousands of miles a year, teaches safe cycling and told the board, "I take it seriously." He is in his third year of identifying and implementing strategy with a goal to "bring down the numbers."

At Monday's meeting, Hataway identified with the important role programs like Complete Streets play in our every day life. Complete Streets changes the way everyone, using them, thinks about moving around.

Both pedestrians and cyclist need to identify with the dangers of traveling corridors designed for just cars and trucks, but those driving the vehicles are even less inclined to be familiar with the risk. The FDOT initiative focuses on all of those that use the roads.

Hataway has reached out to organizations across the state. Piloted the "Alert Today Alive Tomorrow" in Miami and Hillsborough County; developed the program "One Foolish Act," (targeting impaired drivers) and partnered with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct"Pedestrian-101. 


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