Increased Police Surveillance Due to High Frequency of Bike/Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
In an effort to combat a surprising frequency of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is directing several thousands of dollars in specifically earmarked funds to improve the conditions of several high-priority intersections in Deltona. The prospective improvements focus on driver education, increased warnings, and increased ticket distribution along these intersections. Deputies in the Volusia County Sheriff’s department will be posted along the specific intersections to provide increased surveillance and, hopefully, reduce the number of accidents that occur in these corridors.
The attention given to the eight specific intersections follow on the heels of accidents, some of them fatal, at each of these intersections over the past few months. The Volusia County law enforcement officials have met to try and decide the best course of action to combat the uptick in accidents, and this initiative, which will utilize $30,000 of state grant money, is their initial solution. According to the Volusia County Sheriff, Mike Chitwood (himself a bike-enthusiast), the attempt to increase the safety of these intersections is meant to make Volusia County a friendlier place for cyclists and pedestrians who have found themselves frequently forgotten in our country’s obsession with fossil fuels and fast cars.
The Deltona initiative consists of several phases, and will begin with an increased police presence along the following intersections:
- Tivoli Drive and Saxon Boulevard
- Howland Boulevard and Fort Smith Boulevard
- Elkcam Boulevard and Howland Boulevard
- DeBary Avenue and Deltona Boulevard
- Fort Smith Boulevard and Courtland Boulevard
- Deltona Boulevard and Enterprise Road
- West Finland Drive and Saxon Boulevard
- North Normandy Boulevard and Saxon Boulevard
To ensure success, Sheriff Chitwood says that the for the next two months the intersections will be monitored by two deputies at a time. The deputies will come from a pool of almost one dozen who have received specific education regarding pedestrian and bicycle protection. During the first phase, the goal is for the deputies to merely stop offending motorists and inform them about the proper ways to ensure bike and pedestrian safety as well as distribute pamphlets and other literature that outlines the concepts discusses. Following this, the drivers will be given a verbal warning. In the next phase of the project, the deputies will begin issuing tickets.
This project highlights just how vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians are on the roads of Florida, and although the Sheriff Chitwood’s project is a necessary step towards making those on foot or one bike more safe, there will still be avoidable accidents when drivers caused by drivers who aren’t paying enough attention to the road.
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.