Atlantic Beach tries to reduce accidents involving bicyclists, pedestrians

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - The Atlantic Beach Police Department is making an effort to make everyone on the road safer.

Police will conduct the Yield to Life, Look All-Ways campaign, which starts Thursday and lasts through March 10 to increase awareness and reduce accidents involving motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The effort focuses on the dangerous intersections along Atlantic Boulevard at Sherry Drive, Seminole Road, Sailfish Drive and Royal Palms Drive.

"Anytime we get dispatched to an accident that involves a pedestrian or bicyclist, you know, we all kind of hold our breath as we are responding, wondering what the injuries will be," Atlantic Beach Cmdr. Tiffany Layson said.

The city of Atlantic Beach has seen an increase in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist-involved crashes over the last few years. Police say the increase could be because more people are walking or riding their bikes instead of driving.

"We certainly see a lot of people riding their bikes, and a lot of people ride them for enjoyment and entertainment in this area, but there's also people who use a bicycle and their feet as their mode of transportation these days," Layson said.

Although statistics show the trend is statewide, the Police Department has made it a priority to reduce the number of crashes that involve pedestrians and bicyclists.

The city of Atlantic Beach is enhancing crosswalks with extra signage and markings reminding people to look all ways before crossing the street.

"So many times the bicyclist or the pedestrian walks right into the crosswalk thinking they have the right of way, or the vehicle rolls right through the green light," Layson said.

Accident data analysis revealed most crashes occurred at intersections along Atlantic Boulevard and Mayport Road.

"We have had a few that have had very severe outcomes," Layson said. "Luckily, the majority of them have been more of a minor nature. Most of our roadways here have pretty low speed limits."

In about half of these incidents, motorists were at fault, and half were the faults of the bicyclists or pedestrians.

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