Jacksonville has seen a sharp increase in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist traffic deaths in the past year.
Local law and traffic enforcement agencies are teaming to raise awareness of the problem and share how to avoid such accidents.
Sheriff John Rutherford says pedestrian traffic deaths jumped 39-percent in Jacksonville last year. Deaths of bicyclists jumped 80-percent.
He says the main problem is that people lack awareness of their surroundings.
Rutherford says it’s not just distracted motorist, but also problems with bike riders ignoring traffic laws and pedestrians not using crosswalks.
He says accidents can be prevented by just obeying the rules of the road.
“I mean think about it, 138 people died in traffic crashes in Jacksonville last year…every one of them is preventable…PREVENTABLE! That’s the bottom line and we just got to get people to thinking about what they’re doing.”
The Sheriff’s office is teaming with DOT and the Florida Highway Patrol for the “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” campaign. It will run about three months and include radio and television public service announcements, billboards and distribution of flyers.