Traffic Accidents Rise in Lee County in 2017


Traffic accident deaths have been increasing overall in Lee County since 2012. It’s a problem Florida Highway Patrol has noticed and continues to try and combat in Southwest Florida.

“A mom [drove] down the road, went through a dead end and entered a body of water. The mom died and so did her two young children,” Lieutenant Greg Bueno with Florida Highway Patrol described. “When we arrive on a scene like that — it’s heartbreaking.”

According to Lieutenant Bueno, the main problem areas are heavily traveled roads such as Tamiami Trail and Interstate 75.

By the end of 2017, Lee County saw 12,673 crashes. A total of 4,998 of those crashes were injury crashes, leading to almost 108 deaths.

What we see is a cumulation of poor choices. Whether someone’s driving distracted, driving impaired, in a rush, overtired…these are all choices people can make,” Lieutenant Bueno said.

One of the main distractions officers see are drivers using their phones on the road. However, officers, under current law, cannot pull someone over just for using a cell phone because it is considered a secondary offense.

A total of 108 people died in fatal crashes in Lee County throughout 2017.

Florida Highway Patrol officers are constantly looking for new educational opportunities to help teach the public about driving safely.

“It’s all about the power of making a good choice behind the wheel,” Lieutenant Bueno said.


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