A safety concern Wednesday night for drivers exiting and entering I-75 in Sarasota. The sheriff's office says there's been an increase in accidents along several major ramps. The area covers a 15-mile stretch from Fruitville Road to Jacaranda Boulevard.
“I’m very cautious,” says David Vanzant of Sarasota.
Vanzant isn’t talking about driving on I-75, but the ramps entering and exiting the interstate where traffic is slower.
“People are anxious to get going. They’ve been frustrated by construction and lane changes. I think it’s a lack of patience,” says Vanzant.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office reports 33 accidents on the ramps off the Fruitville, Clark, and Jacaranda Blvd. exits in June.
“That’s high for specific areas,” says Deputy Mike Feltovic with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit.
Feltovic says impatience and construction are two reasons for the spike in accidents but not the main reason.
“I would say 75% of the time I just wasn’t paying attention. I was looking the other way,” says Feltovic.
Drivers don’t see a car in their blind spot or accelerate too fast and lose control as they come around on the ramp says Feltovic.
The deputy says too often drivers don’t come to a complete stop. 10News WTSP’s camera caught most vehicles exiting the ramp and rolling through the right-hand turn to merge on Fruitville Road.
“They’re looking to see the traffic coming to merge on the roadway. They don’t see the traffic in front of them might have stopped,” says Feltovic.
Once an accident happens, it slows up traffic for everyone and even more so when drivers passing by want to take a photo to post.
“Now they’re causing another back up,” says Feltovic.
The sheriff’s office was concerned enough it posted the accident numbers on social media. “It’s safety. Safety for people. We don’t’ want anyone to get into an accident,” says Feltovic.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit will increase its presence on I-75 and the off and on ramps, but not just to ticket drivers.
“If we do see violations we’ll educate them mostly,” says Feltovic. “We are all working through the same traffic if we can all work together we’ll get their safely.”