Tampa struggling to make its streets safe for pedestrians
The Tampa-St. Petersburg area is a very dangerous place for pedestrians. The number of pedestrian accidents has led to concern from residents about changes that need to be made to specific roadways in the region.
One particular road, Hillsborough Avenue, has received a lot of attention from officials after a series of accidents in the past six years. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), over 20 bicycle or pedestrian accidents that have happened in a very short stretch on the roadway since 2008. The area is surrounded by an apartment complex, a shopping center and a high school, and sees a large amount of pedestrian traffic each day.
A new crosswalk, with a traffic signal, is being planned for the roadway, but it could take 16 months before it is complete. FDOT has spent over one million dollars on repairs to improve pedestrian safety on Hillsborough Avenue, but residents are still calling for additional measures to be put in place. FDOT is planning on making additional changes to roadways in the area, but is still studying the most cost-efficient measures to improve conditions in the region.
Throughout the Tampa area, police are using grant money to educate and enforce pedestrian safety laws. In certain high-traffic areas, officers will spend part of the week informing pedestrians and bicyclists about some of the rules that they must follow when crossing the street. Later in the week, the focus shifts to enforcement, with tickets being handed out to individuals and motorists who do not traffic safety rules.
As these efforts continue, there are steps that pedestrians can take to improve their safety when sharing the road. Pedestrians should always try to cross in a designated crosswalk. If the area has a traffic signal, pedestrians should be sure that traffic has stopped before entering the roadway. In several accidents, pedestrians have been hit because motorists did not stop for these lights. Also, pedestrians should be sure to wear bright clothing, especially if they are walking at night. This will help drivers see them when they step into the crosswalk.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review the incident, and learn about the circumstances surrounding the collision. This will allow you to understand who is responsible for the accident, and can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
You may start to hear from the insurance companies of the other parties soon after the event. You need to know that if you accept their offers, you could be limited in the amount of compensation you can recover. Discuss all settlement offers with your attorney before you make any decisions about your case.