VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies are targeting aggressive drivers at the most dangerous intersections in Volusia County.
The Florida Department of Transportation said 30 people have died at 33 intersections across Volusia County since 2014. In addition to the deadly crashes, 415 people were seriously injured, 2,024 people suffered minor injuries and 8,657 cars were involved, causing a total of nearly $30 million in damage.
Late last year, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood spotted the increase in crashes and asked FDOT for help.
The department responded with a $50,000 grant to pay for two deputies to patrol the intersections 24 hours per week for the entire year.
Deputy Jimmie Stone is one of the two dedicated patrol deputies.
"We don't enjoy crashes. We don't like working them. So anything we can do to prevent the crashes, whether it's through enforcement or education," Stone said. "People are getting injured, seriously injured, killed in these intersections."
Stone varies the intersections and times he patrols while looking for aggressive driving.
On Wednesday afternoon at Saxon Boulevard and Enterprise Road in Orange City, he ticketed a driver for running a red light right in front of him. Another driver was speeding at more than 20 mph over the speed limit without wearing a seat belt. These incidents happened in a span of 15 minutes.
A ticket for running a red light carries a $264 fine.
"Whenever vehicles do run a red light, most of the time, the crashes are more serious because you have two vehicles at speed colliding," Stone said.
The woman who ran the red light told Stone she had been in a hurry because she was on her lunch break.
"While I am very sympathetic to that situation, that's when accidents happen -- when you're in a hurry, not focused, not paying attention to your surroundings," Stone said.
Speeding more than 30 mph over the limit carries a fine of $356, plus a mandatory court appearance.
On Wednesday, deputies released the following figures, which were collected over the 20 weeks since the FDOT grant began paying for the dedicated deputies:
- 471 traffic stops conducted
- 5 felony arrests
- 13 misdemeanor arrests
- 14 criminal Florida uniform traffic citations
- 292 moving violations
- 105 non-moving violations
- 18 seat belt violations
- 219 speeding violations
FDOT officials also released a full list of the 33 most dangerous intersections in Volusia County, detailing how many crashes took place at each intersection and how severe they were. See the full breakdown of the data here.