Flagler County Safest in Central Florida for Bicyclists
While the reports around bike accidents and fatalities continue to roll in, creating much concern in their repeated reminder that biking in Florida remains a highly dangerous occupation, Flagler County comes to us today to remind us that not everywhere is the prognosis dire. According to reports from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the county remains the only one within Central Florida to go without a single bike fatality since 2017.
This news comes as other reporting places Florida close to the top on lists discussing the danger certain places pose to cyclists. Central Florida in particular remains one of the highest contributors to bike injuries and fatalities, which means that the achievements within Flagler County are not to be scoffed at. Records show that in 2019 alone, 160 cyclists died as a result of crashes involving cars in Florida. This is an uptick of almost 20 deaths from 2018, where the toll was 142.
In an effort to share with other public safety departments what has led to the safety within the county, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Commander, Gerald Ditolla, reported on just why he believes the county is ranking so highly in terms of bike safety while the counties situated just around him are still far behind.
Firstly, Commander Ditolla said that Flagler County’s stellar record was the result of careful planning to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. This means that all major roadways possess a sidewalk, and that these sidewalks are extra wide to accommodate both bikers and pedestrians. Ditolla added that there are numerous designated bike lanes along major roadways, allowing cyclists to remain on the road but within a designated area. Continuing in this theme, Flagler County also features close to 125 miles of trails that allow bikers to travel broadly without needing to use the main roads. Helmets are also given away to children during Bike Rodeos sponsored by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Finally, Commander Ditolla indicated that it was imperative for law enforcement to ticket drivers who behave in a dangerous way towards bikers and pedestrians.
There is a sincere hope that the efforts by Flagler County to reduce bike and pedestrian fatalities will begin to spread to other counties and dramatically increase the safety of the people in the area.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.