Volusia County

VSO Joins FDOT Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Program


The Volusia Sheriff's Office is joining a statewide program aiming to reduce fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents, the agency announced on Wednesday. The effort will entail greater patrols in areas considered to be at high risk for such accidents. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)'s High Visibility Enforcement program is designed to raise awareness and strengthen enforcement of traffic laws.

Running from January through to May, VSO deputies will have increased presence at areas with a history of cyclist and pedestrian accidents. The agency's report cited statistics that the county ranks in the top 25 in the state for serious or fatal instances, and the hope will be that participation in FDOT's program will help bring that figure down.

“Whether you're on foot, behind the wheel, or on a bike, you have a responsibility to share the road safely,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood, known for his avid cycling. “Understanding the rules of the road helps ensure we all arrive at our destination safely and makes our streets safer for everyone.”

These patrols will aim to crack down on drivers who speed, don't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and school zones, fail to use their turn signals, or use their phones while driving, the announcement says. They will also watch for pedestrians jaywalking or failing to yield and for cyclists riding without lights at night and not following traffic laws.

The Volusia Sheriff's Office will join the Daytona Beach Police Department, who also announced they'd be joining the FDOT High Visibility Enforcement program earlier in January. Now with the county sheriff's office and the police force of one of the county's major cities on board, it remains to be seen whether increased policing will lead to better safety numbers from high-risk intersections.