Orange County uses special event zone during Florida Classic weekend

Fines can be doubled and vehicles may be subject to impound within the zone

ORLANDO, Fla. – A new tool to handle pop-up events that can disrupt traffic flow was put to the test following the Florida Classic event on Saturday.

Orange County established a special event zone for the weekend. It’s the first time the county has used the designation, which is allowed after a state law went into effect July 1.

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One of the areas of focus was John Young Parkway and West Colonial Drive.

Barriers were placed in medians and there were signs that addressed unpermitted activities impacting traffic laws.

If there is a traffic violation in the special event zone, fines could be doubled, and vehicles may be subject to impound.

In June, Volusia County law enforcement put into place special event zone restrictions prior to possible pop-up events like the unpermitted truck meets in Daytona Beach, where nearly 1,000 citations were given out and dozens of arrests made last year.

Courtney Frederick lives in Orlando and had a mixed reaction to the new measure.

“For protection, I feel like it is right that they are doing it, which it is working,” Frederis said. “At the same time, it’s a cultural thing. How do you stop something that’s been going on for years?”

During an event on Friday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the first-time measure provides for a safer environment.

“There’s a lot of economic activity that goes on around the stadium that creates pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow, so in order to make it safe place for both those who are out there as pedestrians and those who have motor vehicles,” Demings said.

“The two universities here are committed to making certain that the students do what they’re supposed to do but also the patrons and the guests who come here for this event. They’re coming because it is a safe place. That’s why it has been here for 25 years in a row.”

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.