WATCH: ‘Operation Vision Zero’ Seeks to Curtail Bicyclist, Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities
By Chris Bonanno // February 28, 2020
operation is a result of a partnership between the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization and local law enforcement agencies
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Chris Bonanno spoke with Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization executive director Georganna Gillette, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Tod Goodyear and Palm Bay Police Department public information officer Mike Smith about Operation Vision Zero.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Local law enforcement agencies will be paying close attention to areas in Brevard that have had a high concentration of traffic crashes that have resulted in injuries and fatalities to bicyclists and pedestrians.
At a press conference on Friday at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office East Precinct, the implementation of the Operation Vision Zero initiative was announced.
The operation is the result of a joint effort between the Florida Department of Transportation and local law enforcement that will have police show increased visibility in historically problematic areas.
“It’s a multi-jurisdictional, high visibility and public awareness campaign calling on drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to exercise greater caution and obey Florida’s traffic safety laws when on the road,” said Georganna Gillette, executive director with the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization
There will be four Vision Zero Zones under the jurisdiction of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office including:
- U.S. 1/Cocoa Blvd. from Williams Point Blvd. to Fay Blvd.
- S.R. 520/Merritt Island Causeway. from Myrtice Ave. to Sykes Creek Pkwy.
- S.R. A1A/Astronaut Blvd. from California Ave. to Central Blvd.
- S.R. 520/Merritt Island Causeway from Newfound Harbor Dr. to the 7-Eleven Driveway
“It’s really more about bringing awareness to people that the vehicles are sharing the roads with pedestrians,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Tod Goodyear. “They’re sharing the roads with bicyclists. They need to be aware that they’re out there and paying attention to them. They need to follow the laws.”
Goodyear added that would be signs in the area.
“They’re also going to see deputies probably very visible,” Goodyear added. “It’s not an undercover operation.”
In addition, there will be two Vision Zero Zones under the jurisdiction of the Palm Bay Police Department including:
- Malabar Rd. from Greenacre Dr. to Babcock St.
- San Filippo Dr. from Community College Pkwy. to Malabar Rd.
“The reasoning (as to why the zones were chosen) is that that is probably the heaviest traveled area in our city especially for pedestrians, bicycles and obviously vehicles. you have access to I-95 and the east and west side of the city as well as Eastern Florida State College, all of the businesses along Malabar and that’s also probably the most populous residential area access in our city,” said Mike Smith, public information officer with the Palm Bay Police Department.
He also noted that people are welcome to stop and ask officers questions in the Vision Zero Zones.
“We’re really hoping that people listen to the reasoning behind it,” Smith added.
“We want to educate.This is not a money-making effort for anybody involved this is all about education and trying to get folks to understand that they all have a duty owed as a bicyclist, pedestrian or driver to make sure we’re making the right decisions while we’re on the road and we don’t want anybody to die or get hurt.”
Local law enforcement agencies from Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties are also participating in the program in March.
That the program is being held in March is not coincidental as the second-highest month on average annually for bicyclist and pedestrian injuries in fatalities in the four-county area.
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