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Beach Drivers Under New Regulations in Florida

There are new laws on the books to regulate beach drivers in Florida.

The goal of these new laws is to help to protect beach pedestrians. According to the Miami Herald, vehicle-pedestrian accidents are likely on beaches that still allow motor vehicles to navigate on the sand.

Officials on the East Coast are working to reduce the risks, starting with Daytona Beach. Recently, county officials passed an ordinance that requires beach drivers to turn on their headlights, roll down a window and stop texting behind the wheel when driving on the sand. The county also created new zones under this ordinance that allows for only one-way driving.

Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys understand that county officials had the right idea, to tackle the beach driving problem. But the only way to truly prevent these kinds of accidents is to make sure that vehicles are staying off of our beaches.

Unfortunately, these halfhearted attempts from county officials may have come a little too late, since they were the result of two separate beach pedestrian accidents that happened back in 2010. In these accidents, two children were hit and killed while playing in the sand. These kinds of accidents happen to adults, too. Most times, the victims of these accidents are innocent women lying on the beach working on their suntan.

Recently in Miami, a police officer in a four-wheeler ran over someone lying in the sand.

Driving on the beach has been a tradition in many of our south Florida areas for years now. In many areas, beaches are for fishing, surfing, swimming and even sunbathing. Much of this would never be possible if we didn’t allow beach driving. Unfortunately, this can produce some serious, and even fatal, accidents. Not only does it threaten beachgoers, but it can also threaten ecological systems like the local birds and sea turtles. It can even cause shore erosion.

Those who beach at New Smyrna Beach and even Daytona Beach are allowed to drive along the sand, but have to be careful while doing so. Drivers should take extreme caution behind the wheel and be on the lookout for pedestrians, sun tanners, and bicyclists. When driving on our beaches, the speed limit is a mere 10 miles per hour. This is a limit that’s strictly enforced. If you’re busted breaking this speed limit, then you can face fines starting at $41.00.

Drivers are only allowed on most beaches from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. This is usually only allowed from May through the end October. You can then drive from sunrise to sunset during the rest of the time.

Not just anyone is allowed to do this though. You’ve got to buy a beach driving pass. This pass is only $5 per vehicle or $3 after 3:00 p.m. If you live in the state of Florida then you’re allowed to purchase a seasonal pass for $20. These passes for nonresidents run about $40. All passes can be picked up at beach toll booths.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to discuss your rights. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Pedestrians at Serious Accident Risks, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 15, 2012

Pedestrian Accident Watch: Woman Killed by Passing Car While Mowing Grass, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 7, 2012

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