Florida is known for a number of things, not least of which are sunshine, beaches and fast cars. But despite their popularity those three things don’t always mesh perfectly, and in a community like Volusia County where driving on the beach has been legal for more than 100 years, making a change to that law is difficult.

However, in 2010, in two separate incidents, two small children were struck be vehicles and killed on Volusia County beaches. This prompted the Volusia County council take another look at driving on the beach, seeking a way to protect the right of people to drive on the beach and get a fantastic view of the ocean while also providing for public safety.

Unfortunately, Volusia County has a long history of visitors being struck and killed by cars driving on the beach. Many simply didn’t realize they would be bathing where cars would be parking and driving, while others ignored warnings altogether. Over the past two decades Volusia County slow forced changes to driving laws mean to increase safety for all visitors.

First they instituted strict limits on speed, then a law banning driving at night on the ‘World’s Most Famous Beach’ and made some areas completely off-limits to vehicles. They also instituted a parking and driving permit system so all drivers who wished to drive on the beach would need to pay for the privilege. These moves were meant to limit the number of cars mixing with beach goers, and they did have some positive impact.

In the past decade more beach front park and play areas have sprouted. These new areas are a welcome attraction for families with small children. Both local residents and tourists regularly flock to these areas. Unfortunately, children who see the ocean normally want to wander down to it, and that means crossing some existing traffic lanes. Now the Volusia County council has made driving on the beach which sits between many of these parks the ocean off limits to cars.

It seems unlikely that driving on any Volsuia County beach will become completely banned, but the recent improvements in vehicle and pedestrian safety should have a positive effect on public safety.