Reflective vests, wristbands and educational flyers were a few of the items troopers were handing out to pedestrians on Thursday. The effort, conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol, was to decrease the amount of pedestrian injuries and deaths on roadways. The operation, took place along Palm Beach Boulevard. “If you’re riding your bike you’re out here to do so for exercise or for leisure or what have you and you shouldn’t be exposed to injury or death at that point,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Gregory Bueno said. Over 270 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in Lee County last year involved injuries, and 19 of those crashes were fatal, troopers said. Most of the collisions took place near U.S. 41., Bayshore Road, Palm Beach Boulevard, Lee Boulevard and Estero Boulevard. Troopers provided the following safety tips for pedestrians:
- Use designated walking areas whenever possible walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible.
- Pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on street corners.
- Be sure to be seen be careful of blind spots when walking near or around a vehicle.
- Assume the driver does not see you.
- Proceed with caution when crossing intersections and streets.
- Stand out wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when walking in the dark. Carry a flashlight, too, for added protection.