Making Dangerous Stretch of I-4 More Accessible for Emergency Vehicles
Orlando auto accident lawyers fully support efforts to make a particularly dangerous stretch of Interstate 4 in Volusia County more accessible for emergency responders. A recent editorial in the Daytona Beach News-Journal called the portion of I-4 between State Road 44 and U.S. 92 “a cattle chute,” due to the high rate of accidents during road construction and the difficulties emergency responders are having in getting to people injured in these accidents.
Interstate 4 is one of the most heavily traveled and economically important roadways in Central Florida. The stretch of I-4 between S.R. 44 and U.S. 92 is being widened and improved in an effort to make travel safer. The project began last year and road construction is scheduled to continue until sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. However, the higher number of auto accidents and the reported difficulties of EMTs, firefighters and other first responders to get to accidents during construction have prompted local officials to request that the Florida Department of Transportation provide greater access during construction.
County Councilwoman Pat Northey is the person credited with calling the portion of I-4 under construction “a cattle chute,” and other officials have lobbied the FDOT to take decisive action. Councilwoman Northey pointed to troubling traffic accident statistics since the road construction project began. From May 1, 2012, to July 31, 2012, there were 66 auto accidents on this stretch of roadway. For the same time period this year since the project began, there have been 84 accidents, a 27 percent increase. The lack of paved shoulders in the construction zone, combined with heavy traffic and high speeds, makes the cattle chute analogy a grim but accurate comparison. Emergency responders report having to sit in traffic while they wait for an opening to get to an accident and motorists have documented being stuck in traffic for many hours while accident debris is cleared from the roadway.
The legal community hopes that FDOT officials take steps to add shoulders, lower speed limits, create more access points for emergency responders and take other measures to make this important portion of I-4 safer for everyone while the project is underway.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.