Limit beach driving on Volusia County beaches for conservation of ground nesting shorebirds, sea turtles, and safety of the general public.
Conservation of wildlife can be supported by removing cars from the beach. Risk of crushing hatchlings by cars can be avoided. Deep tire ruts can trap flightless chicks, causing death by crushing from the next vehicle. Death by vehicle on the beach can be avoided. On June 26, 2014 the county was ordered to pay $2.6 million to Erin Joynt for a head crushing beach driving accident by a lifeguard vehicle. Her family members were additionally awarded over $100,000 for damages as well prior to this ruling. The previous evening, June 25, a woman (Elizabeth Braly) walking on the beach was struck and killed by a car that drove through the beach approach gates. If the approach was not there, the car would not have been able to drive through as a sea wall would have been constructed in that place. From 1998 to 2003 there were 43 person/ auto realated accidents on the Volusia county beaches. In 2009 five persons were hit by motor vehicles on the beach. In 2010 toddlers, Aiden Patrick and Ellie Bland, were killed by cars driving on the beach. In 2011 at least 5 beach goes have been struck or injured by beach driving vehicles. Avoid economic losses of approximately $4 million per year due to operating beach driving that produces revenues of only $3 million and costs of $7 million. Enhance real estate along oceanfront property lines later resulting in more revenues from property tax to help provide conservation for sea turtle, shore birds, wrack, and important berm and dune wildlife habitats.
Stop beach driving and parking on Volusia County beaches where 1) ground nesting shore birds occur, 2) within 1000 yards of any established sea turtle nest, 3) where tides are high enough that they wash over the driving lanes, and 3) areas that are known to have excessive amounts of soft sand incapacitating vehicles driving through the soft sand. These points are injunction with wildlife conservation of wintering shore birds and seasonal sea turtle hatchling success, coupled with safety for children as well as the general public, from irresponsible drivers on the beach.
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