Explore how a Florida community event, “Rolling and Strolling,” is revolutionizing pedestrian and bicycle safety education while building a strong sense of togetherness. Click the link to witness the positive impact of community-driven efforts for safer streets.
In the heart of Florida, a community event is making strides in promoting pedestrian and bicycle safety. The event, aptly named “Rolling and Strolling,” was recently organized by OBTNext in the Holden Heights Neighborhood at Orange Blossom Center. The initiative aimed to educate children and adults alike about the importance of safety while navigating their neighborhood streets, whether on foot or on two wheels.
The event was a resounding success, with participants learning about everything from proper helmet fitting to the correct way to stop a bike. But beyond the practical lessons, the event fostered a sense of community and shared enjoyment. As one participant, Adrina, put it, “It’s not just about receiving a bike. It’s about being part of a community.”
The importance of such initiatives cannot be overstated, especially when we look at the statistics. According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 5,952 bicycle crashes, 169 fatalities, and 5,574 injuries in 2020.
Based on the data available up to July 15, 2023, and assuming the same rate for the rest of the year, the estimated numbers for the end of 2023 would be:
Bicycle Crashes: Approximately 7,862
Fatalities from Bicycle Crashes: Approximately 207
Injuries from Bicycle Crashes: Approximately 7,367
Pedestrian Crashes: Approximately 9,570
Fatalities from Pedestrian Crashes: Approximately 706
Injuries from Pedestrian Crashes: Approximately 7,581
These numbers highlight the urgent need for community-driven initiatives like Rollin’ and Strollin’. The event not only equipped participants with the knowledge and skills to navigate their streets safely but also instilled a sense of responsibility towards their fellow community members.
One of the highlights of the event was a bike giveaway, where children who didn’t know how to ride a bike got the chance to learn. Shaniqua Rose, a local resident, fondly remembers getting a new bike almost every Christmas when she was growing up. She believes that having a bike is really important for kids, and events like these help make that a reality for many children in the community.
The event also saw participation from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Rescue, who gave lessons on fire safety and house safety. This holistic approach to safety education is what makes Rollin’ and Strollin’ a standout event.
As we look toward the future, it’s clear that the path to safer streets lies in community engagement and education. Rollin’ and Strollin’ is a shining example of what can be achieved when a community comes together for a common cause. As Vanessa, Executive Director of OBTNext, puts it, “It’s about teamwork. It’s about making good things happen in our community.”
In addition to local initiatives, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has also been proactive in promoting pedestrian and bicycle safety. Their comprehensive approach includes the following key strategies:
Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan (PBSSP): Updated in October 2021, the PBSSP is a five-year comprehensive implementation plan to reduce traffic crashes resulting in severe or fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. The plan focuses on data collection, analysis, and evaluation, and aims to establish clear priorities for safety strategies. More about PBSSP
High Visibility Enforcement for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: The Alert Today Florida’s High Visibility Enforcement Program is designed to increase awareness of, and compliance with, traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on Florida’s roads. FDOT provides funding for contracts to law enforcement agencies in priority counties to conduct high-visibility enforcement operations.
Highway Safety Grants: FDOT’s Highway Safety Grant Program awards subgrants to traffic safety partners that undertake programs and activities to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety through the reduction of severe injuries and fatalities resulting from traffic crashes.
Resources: FDOT provides a list of resources for pedestrian and bicycle safety, including the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Resource Center, Florida Sheriff’s Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, FDOT Complete Streets Implementation, Florida Bicycle Association, National Coalition for Safer Roads, and PEDBIKESAFE: Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System.