The New York Times has an article about beach driving in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Apparently, this was a common thing back in the age of the dinosaurs, and while a large stretch of beach is now off limits to cars, the “tradition” of beach driving is alive in some communities and supported by certain Florida politicians and locals, despite numerous injuries and deaths due to the practice.
In New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach Shores, where Ellie Bland, a 4-year-old British girl, was run over and killed in March during a family vacation, residents and officials seem determined to keep the status quo. Last month, both communities passed resolutions declaring their continued support for beach driving.
Loading patients up on gin and knocking them out with a left hook was also a tradition before the discovery of anesthesia. It doesn’t mean we should continue doing it. Mixing cars and people on streets is one thing – mixing them on beaches, where there is (1) a large contingent of tourists who are not accustomed to this cultural quirk, (2) people laying down on blankets, (3) and kids playing all over, is crazy stupid.
I understand that as a politician, you have to listen to your constituents. It doesn’t mean you have to remove your backbone before taking office and bend to the whim of locals who support outdated and dangerous practices which endanger the public’s safety. I also hope one of these Florida county council members or beach driving locals reads this and writes me a nasty message. Bring it.