Road Rants: Crosswalk confusion over flashing beacons

Pinellas County

In this week’s Road Rants report, 8 On Your Side’s Meredyth Censullo is clearing up a case of crosswalk confusion. 

The owner of Crabby Bills Seafood in Indian Rocks Beach wants clarification about crosswalks with flashing beacons. The lights were added to several crosswalks on Gulf Boulevard. 

Maria Campuzano Loder says she appreciates the safety measure, however the longtime business owner says she was recently pulled over by a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy, and given a warning for driving through a crosswalk while the beacons were still flashing.

We own Crabby Bill’s Seafood on Indian Rocks Beach, the original family owned for 37 years. I have been up and down these beach for years and yesterday I was pulled over by the PCSO. My infraction was going through the yellow flashing crosswalk ALTHOUGH the pedestrian was safely on the other side. I was unaware as are many I have talked to that this will get you a ticket whether or not a person is crossing, flashing you must stop until it stops. This is confusing too many people, even the deputy said I did not know and treated it as any another crosswalk. 

Loder contacted Forward Pinellas, the planning council and metropolitan planning organization for Pinellas County, and was told that she’d done nothing wrong, and that Florida law states drivers must stop for flashing beacons and wait for pedestrians to cross, before continuing through the crosswalk.

“So, now the confusion is ‘are we going to be be stopped? Are we going to be ticketed? Can we go? Can we not go? We’d all like to know,” Loder said.

8 On Your Side contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office who confirm Loder did not do anything wrong if she did in fact stop for pedestrians, and then continued across the crosswalk, even if the beacons continued to flash. 

However, it is against the law to ignore the flashing lights, fail to stop, or fail to wait for pedestrians to clear the roadway. Drivers caught doing so can be ticketed for a moving violation.

Loder says she plans to post notices to all of her family’s businesses, which include Crabby Bills Seafood, Seabreeze Island Grill, Lulu’s Oyster Bar and Tap House, and Ready Set Yo to inform her customers of the laws. 

If you have a Road Rant, or question about the rules of the road or road construction, contact Meredyth at mcensullo@wfla.com, or on Facebook at WFLAMeredyth.

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