Program targets dangerous streets for Tampa pedestrians

More citations coming, but also rewards
Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 17:45:51-05

A deadly start to the week in Tampa.

A woman was hit and killed while crossing Hillsborough Avenue and Nebraska Monday morning.

On Saturday, another death on Hillsborough Ave.

This time it was a hit and run just west of I-75.

And in October, a driver was arrested after running down a teen. It also happened on Hillsborough Avenue near the airport.

Florida is near the the top of the list when it comes to pedestrian deaths.

And around Tampa Bay, the most dangerous streets won’t come as a surprise.

Hillsborough Avenue all the way from Westshore to just before the Seminole Hard Rock tops the list compiled by Tampa Police.

There’s also Busch Blvd. from Florida to 50th.

Fowler Ave. from Nebraska to 52nd.

Nebraska Ave. from Twiggs to Fowler.

Dale Mabry Highway from Interbay to Columbus Drive.

MLK Blvd. from Dale Mabry to 40th.

Downtown streets: Tampa St./Florida Ave from Scott to Channelside. And West Waters Ave. to North Florida Avenue.

Those are the places Tampa police will use a $60,000 grant to promote safety in the coming weeks.

There will be more officers at those trouble spots handing out citations for those doing things wrong.

Dangerous infractions like not using a cross walk or not waiting for the light..

“They think they are taking a short cut and most of the time they are successful, but far too often we have seen kids, moms, moms pushing strollers, they are just crossing wherever they can and it’s a very dangerous situation,” said Tampa police spokesperson Steve Hegarty.

But this program isn’t just about catching those breaking the law.

Police plan to single out those they see doing it the right way.

They will stop them and actually hand out rewards as positive reinforcement.

“And I think people’s behavior is better when they see a police car nearby. But we can’t be everywhere, every moment of the day, especially in the middle of the night when people feel they can just run across the street,” said Hegarty.

Tampa Police said the number of pedestrian accidents are actually down this year, but it’s still way too high.

Several other bay area law enforcement agencies are planning similar projects on dangerous roadways.