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Summer is Here:

Promote Safe Beach-Driving

Brandy D. Rood, Esquire

There are 17 miles of Volusia County beaches where you can drive on the sand. At one time, there were 47 miles. For years, there has been controversy surrounding beach driving. The battle between tourists and locals enjoying the iconic tradition to advocates and the County trying to keep children and sunbathers safe. Whatever your position may be on beach driving, it is allowed in our County and we have to promote safe beach driving this summer. 

Volusia County Ordinance Sections 20-172 through 20-276 provides motor vehicles access to the beach during daylight hours, subject to conditions that promote safety to the people on the beach. The first thing you MUST do when entering the beach to drive, is roll your driver’s window down and turn your headlights on. If your driver’s window does not work, you must have the front passenger’s window all the way down.

If you plan to drive on the beach in Volusia County, keep in mind that all of the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Laws (the rules of the road) apply to you. The speed limit on the beach is 10 mph and there are signs reminding you. Operating your vehicle in any place other than the portion of the beach designated for driving, or operating your vehicle on the beach after the hours established by the County, is illegal. While passing slower motor vehicles on the road is permitted in most areas, it is illegal on the beach. It is also prohibited to “double park,” meaning parking behind or in front of another vehicle. Volusia County has also banned a driver from writing, sending, or reading a text message, which contains similar language to the Florida Statute.

Not only are there regulations for beachgoers who are driving, but there are regulations for beachgoers who are pedestrians while at the beach. The only time you may walk in the designated driving area is to get to or from the hard sandy portion, and you must take the most direct path possible. Additionally, sunbathers may not layout on the beach in the driving or parking area.

For those of you who want to enjoy SAFE beach driving this summer, beginning May 1 through October 31, you are permitted to drive on the beach between 8:00am and 7:00pm or sundown, whichever is earlier. For those you who who think going to the beach where they drive is not quite for your family, there are multiple places from Ormond to Daytona that have been established as “traffic-free zones” including: 1) all the beach north of the northernmost boundary of the extension of Granada Avenue in Ormond Beach; 2) from the southernmost boundary of the extension of Emelia Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores to the northernmost boundary of the extension of Beach Street in the Town of Ponce Inlet; 3) from 100 feet north of the north jetty of the Ponce deLeon jetty southward to the southernmost limits of the Town of Ponce Inlet; 4) north of the rock jetty along that portion of the beach bordering the south side of the Ponce deLeon Inlet channel; 5) from the southernmost boundary of the extension of 27th Street in New Smyrna Beach south to Canaveral National Seashore Park; and 6) from the southern boundary of the extension of Seabreeze Boulevard to the northern boundary of the extension of International Speedway Boulevard. 

The Law Offices of Wilkerson & Rood wish you all a happy and safe Summer.

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