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Indian River Drive in St. Lucie County sees safety improvements

Residents are calling for additional safety measures on Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 10:46:46-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — People who live along Indian River Drive in St. Lucie County said they believe they're seeing safety improvements. The road had a troubling past with speeding, reckless drivers, and deadly crashes.

Indian River Drive, St. Lucie County’s scenic highway, is now slowly becoming less of a headache for drivers who also call this road their home.

Jackie Fitzpatrick thinks a lot of it has to do with awareness.

"The more we talk about it, the more people become aware of the fact that it is an issue and that a lot of bad things have happened on this road," Fitzpatrick said.

But also she feels the area is slowly seeing some impacts from investments in safety.

St. Lucie County spokesman Erick Gill said three-way stop signs now at three intersections could be helping slow down speeders.

"Ultimately it does create those points to get drivers to slow down at those intersections," Gill said.

Gill also said there are no longer any passing lanes with completed yellow double striping and plans to add more signs warning drivers of their speed.

The county decided not to add rumble strips despite that being an option in the original plans out here. Neighbors didn’t want to deal with the noise.

"Obviously people who live on the drive use it the most, so we want to make sure whatever solutions we put in, that they’re in agreement with it," Gill said.

But more ideas will be addressed in a town hall Wednesday night.

Fitzpatrick hopes to discuss keeping law enforcement out here as much as possible.

"We definitely see the most improvement when law enforcement shows a presence, for sure," Fitzpatrick said.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, in light of safety concerns on the drive, said in the last year it has written 155 citations, given 250 written or verbal warnings, and committed to 100 radar details.

They’re devoting anywhere from two to five hours per day on average on keeping both marked and unmarked deputies on patrol.

In the last three months they said they've also seen a dramatic decline in drivers breaking the law.

Fitzpatrick might also ask about roundabouts in front of public pieces of property, knowing it might not favored by some residents, but she’s glad the conversation about safety is still a county priority.