FDOT now tracking pedestrian crash hotspots

Posted at 11:29 AM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 18:27:38-04

The Florida Department of Transportation is now tracking pedestrian crash hotspots in the Tampa Bay area.

They have identified the areas that are over-represented with pedestrian crashes resulting in serious or fatal injuries by district.

Some of the top crash clusters are in Ybor City, Downtown St. Petersburg and in the USF area on Fletcher Ave.

As cars pass at lightning speed, pedestrians still dart into the road on Fletcher Avenue.

"You're gonna die," said Rashard Frederick, a pedestrian who lives in the area.

Frederick says Fletcher Avenue is so dangerous for pedestrians it doesn't matter if you are in a crosswalk or not. His friend died three years ago on Fletcher Avenue after a car hit him in the middle of the road.

"You've gotta have that fear," he said. "That's what you've gotta have to survive."

But FDOT is already able to use data from their crash hotspot maps to do more traffic studies. This helps them make improvements to make dangerous areas safer.

"Are more crosswalks justified?" said Kris Carson of FDOT. "Is a signal needed in an area?"

FDOT is trying to discourage pedestrians from running out into the middle of the road. Some pedestrians are listening.

"I will make sure I wait on that button!" said Dae Kim, a pedestrian near USF. "Because I'm not going without that crosswalk. I promise you that.

But FDOT still says pedestrians need to play their part by making sure drivers see them before crossing the street.

"We've got to grab the attention of that motorist who is so distracted many times and make sure that you as a pedestrian that you are making eye contact with that driver," Carson said.

Some pedestrians say that's your only option to stay alive.

"I'm very cautious," said D'Andrea Simmons, a pedestrian.

FDOT also recommends drivers make eye contact with pedestrians, even giving them a small hand gesture to let them know it is safe for them to cross.