Cards may stop Pinellas pedestrian accidents - WRBL

Cards may stop Pinellas pedestrian accidents

Posted: Updated:
Gulf Boulevard Gulf Boulevard

From St. Pete Beach to Clearwater Beach, accidents involving pedestrians are an ongoing concern.

Now, there's a new program called Walk Wise.  It involves small cards, which are handed out as guests check in at hotels along Gulf Boulevard. The cards, stuffed in room key envelopes, give a life- saving checklist to tourists.  

"We're trying to educate both drivers and especially our pedestrians, and especially our guests that aren't from this area, maybe don't have the same rules, regulations, they're also in vacation mode, so they aren't paying attention," said Clyde Smith, general manager of the Bilmar Beach Resort.

Where there used to be safety flags, there are now well-marked crosswalks and button-activated flashing lights.

But some people are still ignoring the signs.  As our reporter watched, Holly Staton crossed in the middle of the block.

"It said 'ped'," was her response when asked why. 

Between 2008 and 2012, there were 119 bike or pedestrian crashes and 6 deaths along Gulf Boulevard.  The cards are aimed at both walkers and drivers. 

"We've been getting a bunch of good feedback from the hotels as well as the visitors that come in and seem them," said Doug Izzo from the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce.

Izzo says if the cards reduce crashes, they've worked.

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