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Florida Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Office deputies spread safety message on Beach

Safety information and equipment for pedestrians, bicyclists distributed Friday morning on Fort Myers Beach

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Mar 26, 2021

The Florida Highway Patrol announced Friday morning an outreach effort undertaken along with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to provide educational tips on pedestrian and bicycle safety along Estero Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach.

For more than two hours on Friday morning, troopers and deputies spoke with hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclist, providing safety tips and traffic law reminders, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

They handed out educational flyers, bicycle lights and backpack lights.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 260 safety education flyers were handed out, 127 bicycle lights were distributed and 69 backpack lights provided.

“We interacted with pedestrians and bicyclists,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Gregory Bueno said. “We reminded them about safety tips and bicycle law.”

Bueno said pedestrians are encouraged to use crosswalks and sidewalks when available. Among the safety tips include establishing eye contract with the driver of a vehicle before crossing and to be aware of where vehicles are before crossing.

“It’s so easy to veer into the traffic lane without looking and then we have a tragedy and that’s what we’re trying to prevent,” Bueno said.

Bicyclists should ride in bicycle lanes where possible and equip bikes with lights on the front and back, Bueno said. The backpack blinking lights given out can be used on a backpack or clipped to a shirt like “a little flashlight,” Bueno said. They are encouraged for pedestrians or bicyclists in the early morning or evening hours when they may be difficult to see due to lighting issues.

Those riding bikes or walking in the early morning or evening hours are encouraged to wear bright colors so motorists can see the,, Bueno said.

Bicyclists can also ride on the sidewalks on Fort Myers Beach, though not electric bikes.

“The biggest message we’re sending is just being careful,” Bueno said.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Nestor Montoya said the department had “deputies working along with troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol” in a collaborative effort led by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Montoya said deputies were “engaging people with flyers, safety tips and bicycle safety tips.”