VHA golf cart safety expert says 80 percent of crashes happening at tunnels

The Villages Homeowners Advocates golf cart safety expert said 80 percent of crashes in The Villages are happening at tunnels.

Community Development District 7 Supervisor Mark Gallo, who serves as Region 7 director for the VHA, has taught golf cart safety classes for years. In that role, he has examined data on crashes from local law enforcement.

He spoke about those crashes Thursday morning when CDD 7 discussed a pilot plan to experiment with round-the-clock lighting at a tunnel in The Villages.

The driver of this golf cart crashed in 2016 at the entrance to a tunnel near Freedom Pointe.

The Project Wide Advisory Committee on Monday agreed to research the cost of the pilot project at the urging of Community Development District 6 Supervisor Tom Griffith. The idea picked up steam when Amenity Authority Committee member John Wilcox on Wednesday urged his fellow AAC members to also consider tunnel lighting.

“If tunnels are brighter, it’s going to be easier to see. The bottom line is anything we can do to make our tunnels safer is important,” Gallo said.

The tunnel pilot program would include LED lighting, power washing the tunnel and brightening it up with new paint.

CDD 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti said it’s important to keep an eye on potential costs.

“I am afraid this is going to be an outrageous amount of money. That is where it will become a big decision,” Vicenti said.