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Miami-Dade Police Department Starts Pedestrian and Safety Campaign

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AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD
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Florida is one of the worst states for pedestrian and cyclist accidents and deaths. That’s according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In an effort to reduce this problem, the Miami-Dade Police Department is conducting a pedestrian and bicycle safety Campaign.

In an agreement with the University of North Florida, the Miami-Dade Police Department will be able to access data that pinpoints which locations throughout Miami-Dade County are plagued by frequent pedestrians and cyclists accidents.

"I will be sending officers to those locations during the times and dates they have given us to educate, enforce and cite the motoring public as well as people we see on bicycles and walking," said Lt. Jorge Montero.

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For this campaign, Montero will be handing out flyers that contain information that will aid motorists, pedestrians and cyclist on the proper way to conduct themselves when they are on the road.

"They [flyers] have pictures. They basically tell the public, this is what you should do and what you can't do," he said.

While this campaign focuses on education and awareness, some pedestrian safety and transit advocates say this effort is not enough.

"So I think this whole program is basically useless without two very critical things. One, building infrastructure and two, actually changing the laws to protect cyclists," said Azhar Chougle, executive director of Transit Alliance Miami.

Chougle also points his criticism at law enforcement in general. He says the police tend to be more aggressive towards and cyclists rather than motorists.

"In general, you're more likely to find police departments in Miami behaving aggressively towards cyclists compared to vehicles," Chougle said. "Also, law enforcement are generally spending too much time not enforcing the behavior of cars."

Miami-Dade Police will receive about $93,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation for this safety campaign. It runs until May 14.