I read the article in the Feb. 17 edition regarding the number of traffic deaths in the area over the previous nine days (“Caution urged after spate of traffic deaths,” front page). I will say I am not totally surprised. This has been a long time coming.
I travel I-275 north- and southbound almost daily. I travel it in the afternoon and on my way home at night from work. The posted speed limit from Busch Boulevard south into the I-4 interchange is 55 mph. Next to no one comes close to maintaining a speed close to that. On top of that, there is a lot of construction going on, and a good portion of the work is being done at night.
Even with lanes being closed drivers still drive the stretch like idiots, endangering other drivers and the workers. You try to stay at a safe speed to keep up with the flow, but drivers are traveling a good 10-plus over the limit. I have been waiting to see someone crash and burn because of how they drive. Well, it has happened, and I will say there is next to no presence of any law enforcement on the highway to regulate or control the traffic. I am surprised there is no law enforcement working the area of construction.
If there is such a concern for everyone driving safely, maybe a better and more consistent presence of law enforcement would be a deterrent. On any given night the traffic coming out of Ybor City headed north on I-275 is loaded with DUIs waiting to be caught or just drivers not concerned with anyone but themselves and driving out of control.
I know manpower is short for all agencies. If the state cannot fund those agencies properly so more personnel can be hired, we are in big trouble and the burden becomes ours.
It has basically become a scenario of let them play bumper cars, and we will respond when something happens. It’s not a safe condition for this area or any other for that matter. Please drive safely for you, your family and everyone else, too.