The Key West Police Department is kicking off its Safe Streets Motorcycle and Scooter campaign to improve motorcycle and scooter safety across the island. With the help of a $50,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, officers will be stepping up education and enforcement of laws pertaining to motorcycles and to scooters.
In 2014, there were a total of 272 motorcycle or scooter crashes, 175 of those with injuries and two were fatal. In 2015 the total number went up to 364 with 270 involving injuries and two deaths. With the help of a past FDOT grant, the overall number dropped to 317 in 2016 with 218 injuries and, again, two fatalities.
Key West is a premier driving destination, but that popularity comes at a price. The Key West Police Department works tirelessly to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injury crashes. But the high number of crashes every year require the full attention of the eight full time traffic officers. This grant enables the department to focus dedicated attention on proactive means of preventing crashes.
Beginning on December 4th, this grant will allow officers to dedicate attention on the most dangerous areas, including the new crosswalks along North Roosevelt Blvd. They will be making riders aware of the most-violated motorcycle and scooter laws, including:
- Scooters and motorcycles must obey speed limits and traffic control devices.
- Do not carry items in a way that prevents both hands from using the handlebars.
- Do not drive on sidewalks or on bicycle paths.
- Eye protection is required for motorcycles.
- Passenger footrests are required.
- Passing in the same lane is illegal – this is especially true for the many scooters riders who pass vehicles on the right!
- It is illegal to ride between the lanes of traffic.
- Do not ride more than two abreast.
- Do not wear headsets while riding a motorcycle or scooter.
This Safe Streets campaign is also an opportunity to remind motorists to be aware of motorcycles and scooters on the roadway. Riders have the same rights as larger vehicles, and it’s up to the drivers of cars and trucks to look twice for motorcycles and scooters so that everyone can use the streets safely.