As summer approaches, more and more people will take advantage of the warmer weather, and will walk instead of drive. There will also be more people out enjoying outdoor events in Florida. From the Farmers’ Market to music festivals, there are plenty of reasons to spend time outdoors.
A woman was killed on Florida Avenue in Tampa last week, while walking in the outer/bicycle lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Authorities have said that the driver did not see the woman before hitting her. The woman was transferred to Tampa General Hospital, and died shortly after because of her injuries.
A 10-year-old girl has died from her injuries after being struck by a utility truck while walking home from school. Accident investigators say that the girl was walking home from Ventura Elementary School with her 15-year-old sister when she was struck by an Orlando Utilities Commission truck. Florida Highway Patrol troopers are still conducting their investigation into the accident but say that the accident occurred at Pershing Avenue and Wildhorse Road in east Orlando. They say that the 63-year-old truck driver was making a left turn on a green light when his truck was struck by an oncoming vehicle driven by a 53-year-old man. The force of the impact caused the truck to strike the victim, resulting in a traumatic brain injury.
Orlando police officers and Orange County deputies have begun issuing tickets to drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Law enforcement agencies in our area recently rolled out Operation Best Foot Forward as part of a concerted effort to cut down on the number of people killed and injured in pedestrian accidents in Orange County and the City of Orlando. Undercover officers have begun strolling across crosswalks at intersections throughout Orange County and sending offenders to uniformed officers nearby to receive tickets.
A Kissimmee teen struck and severely injured in a recent pedestrian accident is reportedly barely clinging to life after being struck by a car. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers report that the young man was trying to board a school bus when he was struck and injured by a car driven by an 86-year-old Orlando man. Troopers say that the driver passed the school bus while it was stopped, had its lights flashing and had its stop sign deployed. The 16-year-old victim is being treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital and is listed in critical condition.
A 64-year-old Winter Springs woman was struck and killed recently in a pedestrian accident on Red Bug Lake Road. The nursing home resident was using her walker for safety and stability while walking along Red Bug Lake Road around 8:45 p.m. one recent evening when she was struck and killed by a 2000 Nissan driven by a 19-year-old Winter Springs man. Accident investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol say that the driver of the Nissan was eastbound on Red Bug Lake Road near Willa Springs Drive when his vehicle struck the victim. Troopers say that the victim was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk when she attempted to cross Red Bug Lake Road. Troopers said that they don’t expect to file charges against the driver in connection with this tragic accident. The victim was taken to Florida Hospital Altamonte, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.
Last month, we wrote about the Florida Department of Transportation’s "Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow…Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident" safety awareness campaign for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. As you know, several urban areas in our state are among the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the DOT is working with safety advocates to make the new campaign reach as many people as possible. Elements of the program include increased public awareness of the scope of the problems, safer street design, additional bike paths and stepped-up police enforcement. However, organizers say that in order for the campaign to be successful, it will require everyone who uses Florida roadways to rethink how they use and share the road.
The Florida Department of Transportation and law enforcement officials recently launched their “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow…Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident” public awareness campaign to reduce the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in our state. State officials have targeted Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties for a four-week trial period of the campaign with plans to include all Florida counties in the weeks and months ahead. Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and Orlando personal injury lawyers such as James O. Cunningham applaud and support any measures that make roadways safer for non-motorized traffic.
Due to the significant number of pedestrian accident deaths and injuries in Florida each year, a new group called Best Foot Forward has been formed to help make our state’s roads safer for pedestrians. The group includes civic leaders, law enforcement, Winter Park Health Foundation and MetroPlan Orlando. The initiative was announced earlier this week, and their goal is to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries by ten percent each year for the next five years. There is an extreme need for a group such as this one due to the fact that the Orlando metro area is consistently ranked one of the most dangerous areas in the country for pedestrians. On average, two pedestrians are injured every day, and one pedestrian dies each week after being hit by a car.