At one point last year, a bicyclist was killed in Jupiter, Florida because the man on the bike could not see the traffic light due to glare.
After reports of similar issues across the state, Florida’s Department of Transportation is taking action to hopefully reduce glare and the associated risks for drivers in the state, especially on east-west roads.
Cutting down accident numbers
In February, FDOT finished installing backplates on traffic lights at a variety of intersections, including in Jupiter. The backplates being used on traffic lights around the state are installed on traffic light heads, and these backplates create a shadow around the light that makes it easier for the driver to see what the color of the light is.
This will be especially beneficial for streets that run east and west. Drivers heading east in the early morning sun or west in the late afternoon or evening when the sun is sitting might have issues with not being able to see the lights.
Police and the DOT have investigated the issue and found that glare at these times of day has indeed been a contributing factor in accidents involving injuries and fatalities. In a state like Florida that already has elevated accident numbers (especially with regard to pedestrian fatalities), it is important for the DOT to do whatever it can to make the roads safer and bring those numbers down.
The Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency told local residents that if there is an east-west road that has issues with sun glare, you can visit www.palmbeachtpa.org and submit this information via the comment map.
For more information about steps to take if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.