Named as one of the most dangerous places in the country when it comes to deadly traffic accidents, Florida was responsible for over 390,000 crashes just last year alone, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A study conducted by Smart Growth America revealed that a large percentage of these accidents occurred in the Tampa Bay area, where some of the deadliest roads and intersections are located.
For anyone who travels through Clearwater, Florida, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the intersection of Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard has been named by Sunstar Paramedics as one of the most dangerous in County.
As a local, you may recall the tragic incident that occurred back in May 2014 involving the death of crossing guard and retired police officer, Douglas Carey. Carey was standing at the corner of Belcher and Gulf-to-Bay when the driver of a Cadillac ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle, causing the Cadillac to spin out of control and into Carey’s path.
After this unfortunate event, Pinellas County began to consider several changes that needed to be done to increase the safety of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling through the area. These changes faced many obstacles, however, as all four corners of the intersection were privately owned and developed. This created issues with the widening of the subject intersection, a solution that proved vital to improving the safety of the area, particularly during rush hour traffic.
With no significant decrease in the number of accidents since 2014, local planners met on February 7th, 2018 to finally secure a plan to repair the hazardous characteristics of these threatening crossroads. As a large percentage of prior accidents were a result of vehicles turning across oncoming traffic, county planners have already begun work on the addition of at least one extra turning lane. Further renovation is also being considered; however, more renovation equals more hurdles. The engineering team at Pinellas County Public Works stated that it’s not just simply an extra lane or two being put into place, powerlines will need to be moved, as well as underground utilities.
Additionally, repairing the area comes at a cost. Pinellas County is considering the construction of an overpass; however, this overpass could ring up at around 80 million dollars.
For now, although it is understandably easy to become overwhelmed and distracted in a heavily congested area such as Belcher and Gulf-to-Bay, travelers are strongly encouraged to be vigilant and patient. In the event, however, you are injured as a motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist, contact the Personal Injury Law Office of Chelsie M. Lamie, P.A., to ensure your rights are protected and adequate that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries.
To learn about the dangerous intersections and roadways near you, we encourage the use of Caspio’s Online Database:
Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie is a personal injury attorney located in Safety Harbor, Florida. Please call 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can also learn more about Attorney Lamie at www.chelsielamie.com.