There was a tragic story out of Daytona Beach this past weekend involving the wrongful death of a 4-year old who was hit by a car while walking on the sand of Daytona Beach. Ellie Louise Bland, here vacationing from England with her family, was walking on the beach holding hands with her great-uncle when she was hit by a Lincoln Town car begin driven by Barbara Worley. Apparently after Ellie was hit, several bystanders began yelling at Ms. Worley. Ms. Worley panicked, hit her accelerator instead of her brake pedal, and actually ran over the little girl – killing her.
The thing that strikes me about this story, is that it could so easily have been avoided. I agree with the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell that it is time for Daytona Beach (and all Florida beaches, for that matter) to ban driving on the beach. Florida’s beaches are some of the best family vacation destinations anywhere in the world. Why wouldn’t we want them to be as safe as possible for children? Allowing drivers on the beach – regardless of the slow speed – just invites problems when we know that distracted children will be running around.
Additionally, from an environmental perspective, why wouldn’t we want some of Florida’s most valuable assets (the beautiful beaches) to be protected from pollution and the other negative effects of road traffic?
While the beach traffic on Daytona Beach doesn’t have a safety record any worse than the city’s other roads, it has had a recent history of fatalities in recent years. In our view, even one fatality is too many.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding making Central Florida’s roads safer, call Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444 or visit his website at www.cullen-law.com.