Destin Residents Concerned About Highway Safety

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

"I do see a lot of accidents, a lot of wrecks out here” said Barry Wreidinger.
"Especially in summer, rarely do we get through a day without at least one accident” said J.C. Croom.
"We see them all the time and they're normally pretty serious because of the speed and because of the amount of traffic” said Robert Weichman.

Those working along the stretch of highway just right outside of Destin city limits say the road could be much safer than it is.
"The biggest problem would be the drivers, we have a lot of people who come from small towns and they aren't used to the volume of driving” said J.C. Weichman, interior designer.

"You can't take your eyes off the road, which everybody does between texting and looking for this place and that place, but obviously people are speeding" said Barry Wreidinger, repairman of Vacuum Center.

The problems faced on the highway are apparent and the solutions abundant.

"Enforcing the speed limit would be better" said Barry Wreidinger.

"I believe we need to have more lights to slow the traffic down a little bit" said Robert Weichman, owner of Vacuum Center.

Department of transportation spokesman Ian Satter says DOT is always studying crash data, signs and traffic counts in the area.

"Safety is our number one concern, it always has been so we're continually looking and observing all of those different factors to make sure we have a safe and efficient roadway system" said Ian Satter, spokesman with the Department of Transportation.

Satter says drivers should always follow the rules of the road when travelling but those in area say it may not be enough.

"I'm fixing to open a store over in Panama City Beach and I dread driving back and forth from Panama City Beach to Destin because of the danger out there mainly because people aren’t paying attention to what they're doing" said Robert Weichman.

Destin Community Development Director Ken Gallander says the city is working on news driver safety programs with DOT and Okaloosa county.
Part of that includes a multi-model transportation system that gets people out of their cars.


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