Do You Have the Right to Drive on a Public Beach in Florida?
Daytona Beach residents area are likely familiar with the old debate over whether or not individuals should be allowed to drive on a public beach. Check out this article published by the New York Times about this land dispute in Florida.
Fighting the Battle, and Going the Distance…
For longtime residents, the quick access to the beach is part of what makes living here so appealing. Daytona Beach has its own unique history tied to driving on the beach, but there are many social and political battles over whether or not individuals should be allowed to do so.
Local laws have been the primary way to address and stop beach driving since the 1980s. In fact, Volusia County used to have 47 miles of sand perfect for exploring in a Jeep, but that has now been reduced to 17 miles.
In the view of area Daytona Beach residents, the latest battle over two miles of land is about more than the two miles: it’s about an alleged policy of selling out public land to developers.
Those who have lived in the area and enjoyed beach driving for years argue that it’s part of the history and tradition of Daytona Beach, but that tradition is at risk if the county continues to give up land so easily.
Environmentalists have long been opposed to beach driving, arguing that it hurts the wildlife there. In response, the county set forth rules that drivers have to stay away from nesting areas.
As developers attempt to move into the area, it occasionally means compromising the existing rules that otherwise allow individuals to drive on the beach. Some cite concerns over safety as an issue. In fact, since 2005, nearly 70 people have been injured and three have been killed on the beaches.
However, city representatives also point to a lagging economy and an interest in wanting to drive up tourism. Since the last hotel in the area in question was built twenty years ago, they believe that appealing to developers is essential for the future of Daytona Beach.
In their words, the developers see driving on the beach as a major detractor, so representatives feel like they have to take it off the table in order to attract investment and growth in the area.
Daytona Beach Dangers
Although the beach has been a source of fun and relaxation for many, it can also become deadly if everyone doesn’t respect the rules of the road and of the sea.
Florida is home to a large number of preventable car and boating accidents. Some of these accidents, whether they take place on land or sea, lead to devastating injuries or even fatalities.
It’s no surprise that lawmakers would be concerned about any activity (like beach driving) that could contribute to higher numbers in terms of injuries and fatalities.
Read more about what to do about personal injury accidents that happen in Florida here.
Keeping the Beach Safe – and the Cars on the Road
Those who support the restricted access to driving on the beach believe that it will help make the beaches a safer place overall by keeping cars where they were intended to be: on the road.
Even in situations where you have made safety a priority, though, accidents can still occur if the party driving on the beach is not paying proper attention.
If you are going to take your vehicle to the stretches of sand where beach driving is still allowed, do so with an extra eye out. Paying attention and avoiding any reckless behavior is in everyone’s best interests.
A Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyer You Can Call for When Beach Accidents Happen…
Visiting Daytona Beach and soaking up the rays on the warm sand is loads of fun, but spending time dealing with an accident or injury isn’t…
Visit here to learn more about working with a Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer here.
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