An HBPD patroloficer makes a traffic stop on Marina Drive Feb. 5. Islander Photo: Merab-Michal Favorite
The Holmes Beach Police Department is looking out for motorists who use improper passing techniques while driving.
At a Jan. 28 city commission meeting, Chief Bill Tokajer said he and members of the department would be “strictly enforcing” any illegal passing methods, a violation that carries a fine of $166.
If you travel East Bay Drive, passing Walgreens, Publix and CVS, and use the center turn lane only for turning, to avoid traffic or to make a green light, you’ll likely get a ticket.
Motorists who drive in any center lane for an extended distance are subject to ticketing.
Tokajer also will be looking for people who pass a vehicle on the right side, using the bicycle lane, shoulder or unpaved right of way to pass.
“Passing someone on the right side is a major safety hazard for bicyclists and pedestrians,” he said at the meeting.
Under Florida law, drivers are required to slow down — under the posted speed by 20 mph — when an emergency vehicle or tow truck passes with its emergency lights on.
He said HBPD also would be looking to ticket drivers who violate that law.
Tokajer said that before the HBPD begins enforcing common traffic violations, it attempts to educate the community through the media, meetings and its web presence.
Last month the HBPD issued 84 traffic citations, 32 parking tickets and 22 written warnings, according to the HBPD monthly report. They also worked 12 traffic crashes, a report states.
The HBPD also arrested 20 people on various charges in January — 14 were for alleged criminal traffic violations.
Officers last month responded to 214 calls, the report shows.
Tokajer said the HBPD increases enforcement activities during the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign. During the most recent effort, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, HBPD officers issued 198 citations for various offenses.
Tokajer said that due to the proactive enforcement activities by HBPD officers during the campaigns, the department received about $19,000 in new equipment at no cost to the city.
The funding provided the department with two dual antenna moving radar units, two laser speed measurement units and a portable breath-test unit from the Florida Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Program.