Florida has one of the highest rates of pedestrian injuries in the nation. Each year more than 8,000 pedestrians are injured and 500 are killed. Pedestrians aged 70 and older account for more injuries than any other age group.

Safety Flag Program:

A trial program, approved by the City Commission, placed safety flags at selected crosswalks along A1A Beach Blvd. A citizen's advisory group was created to monitor the results and make recommendations for future efforts. The flags are designed to be used while crossing A1A Beach Blvd. for enhanced visibility and safety then deposited in another container once pedestrians have completed crossing the road.

Education:

The key to the programs success is educating the public about pedestrian safety in Florida. Together, motorists and pedestrians can make safety a priority by following the state's pedestrian crosswalk law.

Motorists,It pays to obey:

Motorists should stop at least 30 feet back from a crosswalk so pedestrians can see cars in other lanes (if appropriate). Drivers should also wait until pedestrians have crossed at least one lane before proceeding. Motorists are required by law to stop whenever a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk to cross the street. Violations in St. Augustine Beach carry a $166 fine, and three points assessed against a driver's record. (Florida Statute 316.130 (7) (b))

Pedestrians you can help:

Pedestrians are also required to use a crosswalk if one is present. Pedestrians should never step in front of a moving vehicle, but should indicate they want to cross the street by placing one foot off the curb in the street and wait for the car(s) to come to a stop. This is also the time when the safety flags can be used for increased visibility and to signal the pedestrian's intent to cross the road. Pedestrians should continue to look for oncoming traffic as they cross each lane. Not using a crosswalk can result in a citation totaling $64.50 in St. Augustine Beach. (Florida Statute 316.130 (8))

Our Inspiration:

The program was inspired by a $6 million state program that was approved in 2010 and implemented by the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization and provides high visibility flags for pedestrians to use as they cross Gulf Blvd. in Clearwater Beach and other coastal communities.

Our Thanks:

To our St. Augustine Beach volunteer advisory committee and City Staff for their hard work on this project. Special thanks to the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association for funding.

Sources:

Some information presented was gathered from TBNweekly.com, FDOT, walkwisetampabay.com, and walkinginfo.com