BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Commission Chair Bryan Lober sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday asking him to direct the Florida Department of Transportation to put up red lights at pedestrian crosswalks along State Road A1A following the deaths of two children hit and killed while using the current crosswalks.
In spring 2019, FDOT installed pedestrian-activated yellow flashing lights at Satellite Beach midblock crosswalks at Grant Avenue, Ellwood Avenue, Royal Palm Boulevard, Magellan Avenue, Sunrise Avenue and Volunteer Way, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.
On Dec. 22, Sophia Nelson, 12, was hit by a car while using the mid-road crosswalk in Satellite Beach when a car failed to stop. Nelson had pressed the button to activate the yellow-flashing lights.
Lober’s letter says Nelson was the second child who was hit while using the crosswalks. A boy was hit at a crosswalk on Post Road in Melbourne in December 2017.
“Brevard County residents have presented testimony and videos to the County Commissioners that indicate motor vehicles frequently ignore the flashing yellow lights and continue through the crosswalk area despite the presence of pedestrians,” Lober wrote.
The commission chair says the yellow flashing lights offer a “false sense of security” to pedestrians and only seem to confuse drivers.
County Commissioner Curt Smith introduced a motion, which was unanimously approved by the commission, to removed the crosswalks and put in High Intensity Activated Crosswalks, which utilize a red light to indicate vehicles should stop.
“This change is needed immediately along State Road A1A in Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Indialantic and Melbourne Beach,” Lober writes.
The letter also asked DeSantis to direct FDOT to consider reducing the speed limit on A1A from 45 mph to 35 mph.
Also on Monday, Brevard County Rep. Gary Fine, R-Palm Bay, filed legislation that, if passed, would change all the yellow flashing crosswalk signs to red along State Road A1A by 2024 or remove the crosswalks.