It’s a RAID!

In hot pursuit!

About two weeks after Retired Admiral Collins was hit while cycling in a crosswalk before dawn, the Tampa police stage a raid on downtown Tampa. The motorist, a 2nd year OB/GYN resident on her way to work at a hospital wasn’t cited. No details yet as to whether Collins had lights.

Ironically, a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk and had his leg broken during the “operation.”

From the Tampa Tribune:

TAMPA – Police officers blanketed downtown Tampa on Monday morning, handing out citations to motorists and pedestrians who ran afoul of traffic laws at intersections. The operation was part of a new focus on pedestrian safety, police said.

But it rang hollow for Ed Collins, whose father, Leroy Collins Jr., was killed while biking on Hyde Park Avenue last month and no charges were filed against the driver.

“It was just weird,” he said. “Here’s TPD grandstanding about the great pedestrian safety they have and my father was killed and they did not even issue a ticket.”

Leroy Collins Jr., retired admiral, head of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, and son of a popular former governor, was killed just before dawn on July 29. The driver of the sport-utility vehicle that struck the 75-year-old biker was not cited.

“If you’re a pedestrian,” Ed Collins said, “it’s like you’re wild game to be hunted. And, it seems like TPD is complacent.”

Investigators have called the fatality an accident and said they would not cite the driver.

The operation Monday morning was to spotlight an influx of federal dollars to bolster pedestrian safety. During the operation, a motorist struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk, sending the injured man to Tampa General Hospital with a broken leg, police said.

Federal money flowed into the Tampa Bay area recently — $430,000, in fact — and is being doled out by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Tampa police and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will get $100,000 each to pay for overtime, she said.

Most of the money will be meted out to law enforcement agencies in nine Tampa Bay area jurisdictions to pay overtime for officers enforcing pedestrian laws at targeted intersections, said Kris Carson, a spokeswoman with the state DOT.

“This is the largest safety campaign we’ve ever undertaken,” Carson said on Monday.

During that operation, David James, 50, a lawyer from Brandon, was in a crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Jenny Barquero, 57, of Tampa, who was en route to answer a summons for jury duty, police said.

Barquero was handed a $101 citation for failing to yield, police said.

Monday morning, officers handed out 50 warnings to pedestrians who were not crossing in crosswalks or were crossing against the traffic lights, and 20 citations were issued to motorists, mostly for failure to yield, police said.

2 replies
  1. JAT in Seattle
    JAT in Seattle says:

    I’m all for being a pedestrian in a responsible and predictable fashion, however based on the ratio of pedestrian to motorist citations above, it appears that the police think the biggest threat to pedestrian safety is bad walking.

    Is it just that in busy traffic pedestrians are easier to catch? Is it that the unimpeded flow of the motorized majority is a higher priority than enforcing prudent and lawful driver behavior?

    It happens so often that in a motorist – cyclist collision the motorist is not cited; compare that to car on car “accidents” in which insurance liability is at issue, officers routinely assign fault and penalties based on conjecture and their experence and assumptions about how these accidents generally occur.

    I suspect that the same financial expedience is at work here: the insurance industry requires assignment of blame, and that carries a municipal penalty, but if motorists were held equally responsible for the harm caused to pedestrians and cyclists (and I don’t equate the two, other than that they aren’t surrounded by a two ton metal box) then the unimpeded flow of motor traffic might be at risk.

    A lot of drivers simply aren’t very good at it.

  2. ToddBS
    ToddBS says:

    “Investigators have called the fatality an accident and said they would not cite the driver.”

    I’ll have to remember that the next time I get a parking ticket. “But, I meant to come back before the meter ran out. It was an accident! Honest!”

    Amazing how you can get a citation for literally doing nothing – no rights violated, no property damage – and get off free and clear after killing someone.

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