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Death in “Central Florida’s Playground”

A report by The Orlando Sentinel indicates that officials in Central Florida’s Volusia County are slow to make beach driving safer, following the death of a 4-year-old boy who was hit and killed by a truck on New Smyrna Beach. He is the second 4-year-old killed on a Volusia driving beach in the past four months – the first occurring on Daytona Beach in March.

Beach driving.jpgResort torts typically involve the liability of resorts, hotels, motels, recreational activity operators, etc., but in this case the decision by the County to allow beach driving is immune to liability, as a policy making/ discretionary function.

Volusia County manages 40 miles of beach, 17 of which allow vehicle driving and parking. Forty-five deaths and injuries by vehicles on the driving beaches have occurred in the past five years.

One Volusia County Council member proposed banning beach driving in three years, while the county searches for more off-beach parking. No other Council members agreed to a ban. The Council only agreed to study the traffic and driving patterns and review potential changes to make the beaches safer. Ideas included creating one-way traffic, posting more signs, banning the use of cell phones by drivers, and creating family-only beach sections, though none of the ideas was immediately adopted.