Beefed-up patrols on the coastal road will occur 7-9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and 5-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Police departments from Jupiter to Fort Lauderdale are participating in the campaign, along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.
It’s the second time this year law enforcement has united to bring some decorum to the narrow, scenic road where conflicts have arisen between all groups who use it.
Drivers complain about bike packs taking up the road. Cyclists criticize drivers who pass by them too closely, barely sharing the road. Pedestrians fear getting hit while trying to cross the road to the beach.
“We just wanted to reinforce the message,” said Tara Kirschner, spokeswoman for South Florida Safe Roads Task Force, the group behind the safety campaign.
In the spring, law enforcement issued 148 warnings and 175 citations in an enforcement effort on A1A between Palm Beach and Hillsboro Beach. Two cyclists were arrested.
People’s behavior on the road did change after the initial enforcement campaign, Kirschner said. But that didn’t last long.
“After that, it resorted back to the same thing. They forgot to behave well,” she said. “That’s why we have to do it on a regular basis.”
The safety campaign this time around has expanded at the request of police departments whose towns and cities include A1A and are experiencing problems with conflicts between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
In addition to the extra police presence on A1A, the task force also is having a safety fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park, 6415 N. Ocean Drive. There will be food, games, safety demonstrations and free bike helmets.
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