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The Villages
Saturday, July 20, 2024

Double the fines! 

Robert Nyce
Robert Nyce

State approval is required to construct a community designed and designated as an Over 55 community.  There are many state rules and regulations that already apply to these communities in order to maintain their status as such.  Therefore, I will not address those regulations or their impact in this proposal.

Currently public roads within and Over 55 community are the subject of standard traffic violation tickets ie. speeding, failure to stop, reckless driving, etc.  However, the driving conditions within Over 55 Communities is unique.

Over 55 communities are different in many respects.  The roads are generally constructed for access to single family structures and therefore not built for heavy traffic.  The roads are not designed for safety. In fact, many of the roads within Over 55 communities are built for to look good and do not provide proper sight lines or street lighting.  This includes a lack of crosswalks for pedestrians, bicycle paths and in some areas a lack of golf car lanes.

Our streets in the older sections of The Villages even require golf carts to drive in the traffic lanes or merge into traffic lanes at intersections. Our streets are used by pedestrians, motorized wheel chairs, low rider bicycles, regular bicycles, motorcycles, etc. And, we are an approved Over 55 Community which means all or most of our drivers are senior and many are in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  In fact, we are slowing down in our reaction times. It is a simple fact.

With all of this going on in our Over 55 community, why then are our roads not treated just like the roads under construction for the safety of the workers.  There are many distractions and contingencies that are unexpected in our communities, just like a construction zone.  The risks to workers along the roadside cutting, trimming and maintain the grass and flower beds is high. Golf cars can be driven on the streets in traffic lanes.  Many children travel here to visit with grandparents and use the roads on bikes, as pedestrians and in golf cars.

Police have a difficult time enforcing traffic violations due to the nature of our roads with many twists and turns due to the layout of our Over 55 community.

I think it is time to consider applying the same rule to Over 55 communities as we do to Construction zones – DOUBLE THE FINES!  If we double the fines within Over 55 communities, everyone will pay more attention.  Drivers will slow down!

Right now, the pass-through traffic ignores speed limits and stop signs because they know there is little enforcement possibility due to the change in jurisdiction and limited distances within each jurisdiction.  Let’s change that.  Make the law have effect!

In conclusion, I believe if you hit them in the wallet, it will have impact!  It only takes one or two drivers to get cited and the word would get out. Contact your local elected state representative and Senator today.  Urge them to support legislation to enact a law that would “Double the Fines, in Over 55 Communities.”

Robert E. Nyce is a resident of the Village of El Cortez.

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