Over 13 law enforcement agencies participate in Drive Safe campaign across South Florida

VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (WSVN) - Drivers who chose to ignore speed readers on Thursday morning could not ignore the ticket they received afterwards.

Several law enforcement agencies worked together to assist with a traffic enforcement operation.

Officers could be seen lined up alongside the Rickenbacker Causeway in Virginia Key, pulling over countless speeding drivers.

“You got to slow down. You’re going too fast, and you should be slowing down in this area,” said Mathew Torres, who was pulled over for speeding.

The speed traps are part of a larger project called the Drive Safe Campaign, designed to keep the roads of South Florida safe.

“We have over 13 law enforcement agencies patrolling the area, looking for aggressive drivers, those who are not wearing seat belts, those who are following too closely and not obeying the laws, and also for bicyclists. We’re stopping them and also educating them to follow the rules of the roadway,” said Florida Department of Transportation Campaign Manager Carlos Sarimento.

The Florida Department of Transportation is working alongside the University of Miami and over a dozen police agencies in the campaign.

The goal of the project is to remind drivers and cyclists to follow the rules of the road.

“The self-correctness is key,” said University of Miami Police officer Alexandria Martinez.

She said cellphones and the car’s radio contribute to drivers not paying attention to their speed.

“They’re distracted [with the] radio, phone, and that speed is building up. Before they know it, they’re way over the speed limit, so every time they catch themselves and it tells them how fast they’re going, you’ll see they correct it,” said Martinez.

The presence of law enforcement, in addition to the speed readers, has been proven to be deterrents.

Sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists is a common issue that the annual campaign is bringing awareness to.

“They abide by, more or less, the same rules that a vehicle does. You’ll see sometimes they don’t do that, and that’s why you have accidents, and they get hurt,” said Martinez. “We want to create safer roads. It’s our responsibility to educate the public.”

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