Local safety concerns after NYC terror attack; How Tampa Bay police are responding

Law enforcement has advice on protecting yourself if someone tries to run people down.

With the terror attack in New York still fresh in people’s minds, we wanted to know what precautions, if any, can be taken to protect people along sidewalks.

Local law enforcement in Tampa Bay makes sure to set up large dump trucks during parades or large events like Gasparilla to deter someone from driving into a crowd.

Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter says when vehicular terrorism became more common, they added concrete barriers at events. That was about three years ago. It makes it harder for people behind the wheel to do any damage.

But what about people running or biking along trails?

Along the Pinellas trails, there are some ballards, so drivers aren’t able to drive there.

But they're only in certain sections, not everything is protected. 

Chief Slaughter says you need to know the area you're running or biking in. There are ways to protect yourself.

“Use trees or obstacles to help protect you. You'll see that in Clearwater, a lot of sidewalks lined with trees to provide that protection,” he says.

We spoke with people on Bayshore Boulevard Wednesday morning, who say there is little you can do when someone is so determined to kill.

During the weekend, hundreds use the trail.

Runners like Bill Katzaras say they feel safe with the water close by. 

"We can jump over the side and into the water, that's what I would do," says Katzaras.

Christine Acosta with the nonprofit Walk Bike Tampa, says she’s more concerned about the speed limit on Bayshore than, then a possible terror attack.

The organization has been pushing to lower the speed limit from 40 to 35, widen the bike lane, and add more crosswalks.

“I’ve seen many drivers jump the curb, who aren’t associated with terrorist attacks. If the speed was lowered, it could save a lot of lives because people reach up to 60 miles per hour here,” says Acosta. "We can't protect ourselves from people who are very determined to cause harm but we can protect people who are everyday users much better than we presently do."

Recently, Acosta witnessed the driver of this truck, jump the curb, and crash into this bike rack. No one was hurt, but she sees situations like this often.

"None of those were instances where the motorist was deliberately looking to do harm. It's just someone we have to work on here," she says.

What are your thoughts?

Tell us on our 10News Facebook page!

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.

Have a news tip? Email tips@wtsp.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment