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PCPD doubles down to reduce number of pedestrian-involved crashes

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County is one of the top 25 counties in the state for traffic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists. But the Panama City Police Department is trying to change that.

It only takes a second for someone’s life to flash before their eyes.

“A normal vehicle weighs 3,000-5,000 pounds. You get hit by it, you’re more than likely going to die,” Panama City Police Corporal Preston Allyn said.

It’s a devastating accident Panama City officers working to avoid.

“Some people even though, even though you have the right ways pedestrians. If you get hit by a vehicle, it doesn’t really matter. So let’s try not to get hit by a vehicle,” Allyn said.

The department is doubling down on distracted drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, by adding more patrol on busy roads.

“Just make drivers more aware and try to get the distractions out of the drivers, you know, their phones now. Or stop looking at the radio and just look around to try to cut down on the fatalities is really the purpose of this,” Allyn said.

But Allyn said it’s not about writing tickets.

“It’s more of an education, and trying to get a voluntary compliance, just for a safety factor we’re just trying to get out there and tell them like please, don’t get hit by cars,” Allyn said.

Officers are reminding everyone that there are rules when riding on these roads and walking on them too.

“A lot of people don’t know that you have to have a headlight and taillight on a bicycle at night,” Allyn said. “How the proper way to cross the road, and all the safety factors involved in crossing the road like using the crosswalk as you see here.”

That’s why you might be seeing more cop cars in some of those high-traffic areas. The Florida Department of Transportation gave the PCPD educational material to hand out, like lights for bicycles.

The Florida Department of Transportation is also paying for all the officer’s overtime, as law enforcement all across the state push for safer roads.

The program kicked off this weekend and runs through May.

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