In Florida, many roadways are designed to be quick routes to popular locations. The problem with this is that there are some that come near schools and places where children play, but there are few sidewalks or safety features in place to prevent kids from being hit by the quick traffic. Because this has been a concern, new laws and regulations have been suggested for the state.
Recently, the old definition for a hazardous walking condition has been changed, and a new one has now taken its place. The Governor, Rick Scott, signed a measure into law that now expands the old definition of hazardous walking conditions and required the local government to fix hazardous conditions within a reasonable amount of time. If the local government doesn’t comply, it could be held accountable for injuries.
One of the hazards that has now been marked is any road with an uncontrolled crossing site where students need to walk, to get to or from school if that road has a speed limit of 50 mph or more or if there are six lanes or more of traffic (excluding turn lanes). The hazardous condition, which in that situation is the road itself, must be remedied to make it safe within a reasonable amount of time. That could mean building a pedestrian walkway or making safer crossings.
Until these situations are adjusted, students can be bussed to and from school to keep them safer. This legislation has come to pass due to questions previously raised about the safety of students walking to school along busy highways where no sidewalks are present.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Florida expands definition of hazardous walking conditions,” Jeffrey S. Solochek, June 11, 2015