Bill Passed by Florida House to Enhance Pedestrian Crossing Zones
In a major breakthrough for people fighting to increase the safety for pedestrians throughout Central Florida, the Florida House passed a bill on Monday, March 9th, that is the first step towards getting better pedestrian crossing safety features along certain roads. The bill, known as the Sophia Nelson Pedestrian Safety Act, stems directly from a tragic crosswalk accident which took place around Christmas of last year.
That incident, which happened on December 22nd, involved a 12-year-old student in the sixth grade of Surfside Elementary who was on a walk with her family along State Road A1A when she attempted to cross the roadway. More information about the incident itself can be found both on our blog – where we have been following this story and its developments for the past several months – and in local news sources, but the condensed series of events sees the young girl activating the flashing yellow lights and then crossing the street. At this same time, an 83-year-old woman from Cape Canaveral reached the area of the intersection, reportedly slowed down when she saw the lights flashing, and then continued to drive forward after she failed to notice the young pedestrian.
The following collision between the car and the child resulted in the 12-year-old suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Three days later, on Christmas, the child was taken off of life support. After her death, four of her organs were donated to other children in desperate circumstances at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, located in Orlando. The 83-year-old diver was issued a ticket for failing to stop at a crosswalk.
This Monday, the legislators within the Florida House agreed in a 118-1 margin to ask the federal government to authorize the replacement of yellow flashing crossing lights in areas where the speed limit is 45mph or above with red flashing lights. While the yellow flashing lights would remain present along roads with speed limits of up to 35mph, it is hoped that anything above this would receive the flashing red lights, thus increasing the caution of drivers regardless of whether or not a pedestrian was in sight.
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.