Bay County, One of the Most Dangerous in Florida for Pedestrians

Florida led the country in pedestrian deaths in 2012.

Some Bay County authorities believe poor lighting and limited sidewalks play a role in the number of local deaths.

37 people were killed on Bay County roadways last year, 11 of them were pedestrians.

"Bay County has had some of the highest pedestrian traffic accidents in the state over the past few years, it's a concern, definitely," said Lt. David Baldwin with the Bay Co. Sheriff’s Department.

More people walk in Florida because of the warmer weather, and in our area, there are a lot of tourists walking from their hotels to restaurants, nightclubs, stores and attractions.

Baldwin also points to poorly lit roads that are not pedestrian friendly.

"It's not built for pedestrian traffic, it needs to be. Residential areas are popping up. You've got more foot traffic, that's just one of the troubles we have, they walk on the side of the road where there's no lighting."
But intoxicated pedestrians, especially during Spring Break also have to share some of the responsibility.
Baldwin said the recently completed road improvements near the Thomas Drive, Front Beach and Middle Beach Road area, will improve safety.
"It has everything to do with it. When it comes to that time of year, that side walk is going to be a God send, everyone coming down Surf Dr. onto South Thomas to the super clubs, it will be so much safer than last year," he said.
And if you are out walking remember to face the traffic, and use a flashlight or wear reflective clothing at night-time.
Each year an organization called the Environmental Working Group conducts a survey called Mean Streets.
The last several years Means Streets has found Bay County as one of the most dangerous cities in Florida for pedestrians.

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