Agencies launch pedestrian, bicycle safety campaign

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The city of Jacksonville has a dubious top-10 ranking as being one of the worst in the state for pedestrian and bicycle crashes.

Now the Florida Highway Patrol, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and the Florida Department of Transportation are teaming up to make the roads safer.

They're launching a campaign titled Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow.

They want drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to know that "safety doesn't happen by accident."

The agencies are partnering for a three-pronged effort.

First, engineering -- making sure roads are designed with safety in mind. Next, educating drivers and pedestrians about distractions and the rules of the road. And finally, enforcing the laws.

Sheriff John Rutherford says alertness is truly the key.

"Just slow down a little bit, unclutter your mind when you're in that car," Rutherford said. "Look around. Look for the pedestrians. Look for the bicyclists. Bicyclists and pedestrians have responsibility, too. ... The guy literally is on the phone and walks out in front of traffic. I've had that happen to me, and I'm like, 'What are you doing?'"

The campaign will be spreading its message through TV ads, social media, advertising on city buses, and other education efforts.

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