Thursday, May 20, 2010

CCSO Helps Residents “Be Safe, Be Seen”

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office kicked off its bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign to in Immokalee Wednesday.

The purpose of the “Be Safe, Be Seen” campaign is to equip bicyclists and pedestrians in Immokalee with education and safety equipment that greatly decreases their chance of being injured or killed in a traffic crash.

CCSO deputies were at the Pantry Shelf, 106 S. 3rd St. in Immokalee, distributing free bike helmets, bike light kits and reflective safety vests. If a bicyclist was in need of a light kit, a deputy helped affix the light kit onto the bike.

Deputies also distributed pamphlets and fliers and other materials that promote bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Funding for the program was provided by a grant through the Florida Department of Transportation.

More “Be Safe, Be Seen” events are planned for throughout the year in Immokalee and East Naples, where bicycle and pedestrian safety has been a significant problem.

Eighty percent of the traffic fatalities involving bicyclists and pedestrians reported to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 occurred in East Naples and Immokalee. There were five pedestrian/bicyclist traffic fatalities in the county last year, four of which were in East Naples and Immokalee, according to CCSO figures.

Of the 96 bicyclists and pedestrians who were injured in traffic crashes countywide in 2009, 42 were injured in Immokalee and East Naples, CCSO figures show.

Photos submitted by Crime Prevention Specialist Susan Gentry.