Delray Beach Intersection Won’t Get New Light, Despite Fatal Crash

Traffic engineers have decided that despite a fatal crash in late September, a Delray Beach intersection won’t be getting a new traffic light after all. However, engineers did recommend moving forward with a number of improvements that were already planned. intersection

The Sun Sentinel reports the crossing at Federal Highway and Northeast First Street will be updated over the next several months to include:

  • A sign for motorists on Federal Highway, notifying them of the upcoming intersection;
  • A sign for motorists on Northeast First Street, to notify them cross traffic won’t stop;
  • Larger stop signs for those traveling both directions on Northeast First Street;
  • Relocation of a garbage can and bench that reportedly obstruct motorists’ views.

The site was where an 82-year-old Uber driver was killed trying to cross Federal Highway in his sport utility vehicle. As he did so, a 60-year-old in a Lamborghini slammed into him, according to police. The sports car driver, a mulitmillionaire who owns a fitness club chain, had reportedly spent the afternoon drinking in downtown Delray Beach with his girlfriend. Authorities have cited alcohol and speed as possible factors in the crash, though the other driver has not been cited as of this writing. The police investigation is ongoing.

A representative for the city said the crash, along with previous complaints regarding obstructed views at the intersection, prompted traffic engineers to take a closer look at whether additional improvements were necessary. Several residents had proposed installing a traffic light. However, this is considered a “big-ticket” item, and officials weren’t eager to install it if it wasn’t necessary. The city spokesman said that while this accident was a tragedy, driver misbehavior – such as drinking and speeding – can’t be controlled with “signs and lights.”

That may be true to an extent. However, our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers know that speed and alcohol use are both foreseeable incidents on the roadway. In fact, both occur each and every day, perpetuated by drivers across the country. Traffic engineers can’t prevent all possible outcomes, but they can anticipate drivers being irresponsible and plan certain features accordingly. Many traffic-calming measures exist to slow speeders, including:

  • Vertical Deflection (i.e., “speed bumps”);
  • Horizontal Deflection (i.e., traffic circles and roundabouts);
  • Horizontal Narrowing (neckdowns, center islands, chokers);
  • Posting warning signs and signals (i.e., “SLOW,” lowered speed limits, flashing strobe lights, hazards).

Interestingly, signs that warn of children in the area aren’t known effectively reduce driver speeds.

This is not to say that cities MUST put these measures in place everywhere. However, the failure to do so at problem intersections or stretches of road could result in a finding of liability.

Here, the city has promised that the improvements that are moving forward will be completed rather quickly, considering they are not expensive or time-consuming to install. The best estimate for completion date is January 2017. Those changes will reportedly be reviewed every six months.

Meanwhile, the wife of the Uber driver has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Lamborghini driver, seeking compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses and mental pain and anguish.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

No traffic light needed at intersection of Delray Beach fatal crash, study shows, Nov. 16, 2016, By Adam Sacasa, The Sun-Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Motorcycle Riders in Construction Zones Face Hazards, Nov. 11, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer Blog