The Volusia County Council adopted a new strict rule earlier this month, completely prohibiting any texting by motorists driving on the beaches in the area. The adopted regulations also require drivers to keep their windows rolled down. The legal changes were adopted with the hope of helping reduce the number of car accidents.
It is hoped that the ban on text messaging behind the wheel will prevent some distracted driving. The requirement that cars keep their windows lowered is intended to help drivers keep their ears alert for nearby activity.
The county also is trying to reduce the number of people driving up and down the beach in a loop, or generally cruising along on the beach. To accomplish this goal, several stretches along the beachfront have been designated as one way only.
This could enhance the safety of pedestrians and sunbathers, who should only have to look in one direction to see the approach of traffic. The change was one of several suggested by a recent $50,000 study of area traffic, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Council also is mandating that motorists keep their headlights on while driving along the beach, adopting the rule at the suggestion of seventh grade students from St. Brendan’s Catholic School. Students reportedly came up with the idea after doing a school assignment involving the study of safety issues involved in beach driving.
Two council members voiced their support for even more restrictions on motorists driving on the beach, but were outvoted on those issues.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Volusia’s new beach-driving rules: No texting, windows down for safety,” Anika Myers Palm, March 2, 2012