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Vehicles on Beaches in Florida: Traditions Die Hard

Posted on March 26, 2012

Serious injuries suffered by a 1-year-old-girl who was recently run over on a crowded beach at Huguenot Park in Jacksonville once again spotlights concerns whether vehicles, beaches, and people can successfully mix in Florida.

In Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, driving on the sand dates back to the horse and buggy days. Some residents have pointed out that tourists come by the millions, bringing much-needed income to their communities. They are wary of rocking the beach-driving boat.

However, other communities citing Florida beach auto accidents over the years have banned all vehicles on their beaches.

Despite historical precedent, the tradition can be deadly. Following the death of a 4-year-old boy who was struck by a pickup truck on New Smyrna Beach in July of 2010 and a serious injury to a Kansas woman who was run over by a Volusia Beach Patrol vehicle while she was sunbathing in July of 2011, Volusia County rolled out new beach-driving regulations in March hoping to stem further injuries and deaths on their beaches. According to county records, 40 beachgoers were struck by vehicles between 1995 and 2010.

The new Volusia County beach-driving rules include turning on headlights, banning texting while driving on the beach, and rolling down a vehicle’s windows to afford a driver better visibility of his or her surroundings.

The parents of the 4-year-old filed a wrongful death suit against Volusia County and the driver of the vehicle that struck him. The boy’s mother told The New York Times, “You don’t mix cars and people. It’s pretty simple.”

If you have been injured because of another’s carelessness or negligence — whether on the road or on the beach — calling the Volusia County personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah makes sense. Our experienced team will work overtime to see that those responsible are held liable. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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