Volusia County Beach Safety to get updated radar guns and signs
DAYTONA BEACH —
In 2010, two children were hit and killed along the sands of Volusia County’s coast in separate accidents. Since then, the county has looked at ways to make it safer for cars and sunbathers to co-exist. A number of safety improvements have been made, but some people still have an uneasy feeling.
Melanie Rodriguez drove over to Daytona Beach from Deltona to spend the day with family. She hates seeing the cars driving past, “I believe that people, if they area going to come inside the beach and drive around the beach, they should be careful with what they’re doing and they should follow the rules.”
That doesn’t always happen though. The latest safety effort involves high-tech radar guns. County leaders approved the purchase of four laser radars and two radar speed signs at a total cost of just over $20,000. As with most things related to law enforcement, it’s that enforcement part which is sometimes tough.Beach Safety officers have older radar guns, which are outdated and cannot be properly calibrated. The new equipment should make it easier for them to enforce the 10 mile-per-hour limit on the sand.
However, Captain Mike Berard with Beach Safety Ocean Rescue said the first step is education: “Safety’s our number one objective. And if we can educate the public to make it more safe, then great. If the education doesn’t work then we’ll work on some prevention and then prevention leads into enforcement.”
“They should enforce the rules,” said Rodriquez. She adds “people have to be aware there’s people running, especially kids. And there has been accidents before where people have died.”
Yet not everyone likes the idea of extra enforcement. Zachary McGregor is from Clermont, Lake County and said enforcement and safety is just fine, “I think it’s a little prude. People come to the beach to have a good time so just them having to worry about this extra thing is just not necessary.”
It’s clear that vehicles will not be kicked off Volusia County’s beaches any time soon, so those who do choose to drive will have to continue to deal with extra safety measures.
According to Volusia County Beach Safety, there were 120 warnings and 250 citations handed out last year for speed-related violations.