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Florida State Route 80 to Receive Millions in Funding to Improve Driver Safety

Aerial view of a highway in rural Florida

Good news for travelers on Florida’s Highway 80. The state recently received approval for funding that will be used to install over one thousand lights along a notoriously dangerous stretch of the roadway. The area targeted for improvement is located between State Road 15 and County Road 880.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) notes that the plan will help drivers navigate more safely on that area of the road at night. A spate of accidents in recent years has made the light installation more urgent than ever, and local officials like Belle Glade mayor Steve Wilson and others have been pushing for the lights for at least a decade.

More Highway Lights Will Save Lives on Florida Roadway

According to officials from the Transportation Planning Agency (TPA), in the last five years alone, 28 extremely serious (including some fatal crashes) have occurred along the route. Of those accidents, 14 of them took place that night, underscoring the need for action regarding lights. According to Valerie Nielsen, Interim Executive Director at the TPA, adding lights along the corridor will make the area significantly safer  not only for drivers, but others stranded on the roadway in the event of an emergency.

Installation of 1000 lights over the eighteen mile stretch between West Palm Beach and Belle Glade will take approximately three years to complete. While the design portion of the endeavor is set to begin this year, the first phase of construction will commence in 2026. The entire $24.6 million project will be funded by the TPA, while the FDOT and Florida Power & Light will be responsible for installing the lights.

Why Dark Roads are Dangerous

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nighttime is considered the most dangerous time to drive. Reasons for this include:

  • Nighttime driver fatigue interferes with reaction time.
  • Impaired, intoxicated drivers are more common at night; hazardous not only to themselves, but others sharing the road.
  • Trouble with depth perception, peripheral vision, and color recognition in the dark are all examples of compromised vision that occurs with nighttime driving.
  • Glare. Though drivers tend to use their high-beam headlights when it’s dark, the field of vision your “brights” provide allow little time for drivers to respond to oncoming danger.

Call Kogan & DiSalvo

Kogan & DiSalvo are among South Florida’s leading car accident lawyers. We are very encouraged about the lighting project along Route 80. We believe this is a step in the right direction toward protecting our state’s many residents and visitors. However, Florida roads are still among the most dangerous in the country. If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we will fight to get you the cash compensation you deserve. Please contact us. Consultations are free and there are no attorney’s fees unless we win your case.

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