According to the Bradenton Police Department, a stretch of First Street ranks as the city’s most dangerous for people on foot and on bicycles.
The area in question is between Manatee River and 13th Avenue, a six-lane section of roadway that essentially divides the city. In 2017 alone, there were four accidents involving serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists and one involving a fatality.
Overall, Bradenton is known as the most dangerous place in the state for pedestrians and cyclists out of all cities with populations between 15,000 and 75,000. According to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Matrix, Bradenton had the most serious injuries and fatalities to pedestrians and cyclists between 2012 and 2016.
Safety campaigns aim to help
In the wake of these revelations, the local police department will begin a high-visibility enforcement program to promote greater safety for cyclists and pedestrians. First Street will be one of the targeted areas.
The campaign’s goal is to educate people about the dangers of crossing outside of crosswalks, walking at night while wearing dark clothing and riding their bikes at night without a light. Officers say that most of the accidents they deal with are not the fault of drivers, but instead are attributed to the behaviors of cyclists and pedestrians. In many cases, pedestrians do not use marked crosswalks and cyclists illegally ride against traffic. Many crashes occur at night due to a lack of visibility.
Law enforcement officers also want to ensure motorists stay aware of their surroundings on the road, yield to people in crosswalks and look closely before turning at intersections.
For further guidance on your best steps after a pedestrian or bike accident, contact an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.