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Gulfport neighbors fed up with 'reckless and dangerous' speeding on Gulfport Boulevard

Posted at 6:01 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 18:01:02-04

GULFPORT, Fla. — Reckless and dangerous! That’s how people in Gulfport describe speeders zipping down their streets. The latest speeding driver taking out a concrete pillar and iron fence in front of the Stetson College of Law on Gulfport Boulevard near 17th Avenue South early Monday morning.

Patrick Rhodes lives off Gulfport Boulevard and says it's both frustrating and puzzling.

“I’m just trying to figure out how fast he must have been going around that curve to go off the road and knock over a heavy concrete pillar,” he said.

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Neighbors call it "lead foot ludacris" and they say it needs to stop.

The Stetson Law School Fence has been hit three times. More than one driver ended up in a nearby retention pond.

“One of the drivers hit the water so hard it splashed water on our house right here 50 feet away,” Sven Bertelson explained.

Bertelson can’t help but wonder how close the next car will come.

“It’s a big-time worry. What if we’re out here walking around and we get taken out?” he said with a sigh.

As ABC Action News Reporter Sarah Hollenbeck was out getting video of Gulfport Boulevard, she watched as one driver after another activated a digital speed sign urging them to slow down.

“Enough is enough!” Bertelson exclaimed.

The speeders are keeping Gulfport Police Officers busy. Wednesday, they were out again enforcing the rules and busting drivers like Jackie Nelson.

Officer Edward Pope clocked her going 48 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.

“Obviously I was going too fast,” Nelson added saying she had no idea she was going that fast. “I don’t know it’s just easier to go faster I guess.”

Nelson received a warning after vowing to watch her speed.

Over the past 5 years, there have been 22 crashes in just a one mile stretch of Gulfport Boulevard between 58th and 64th Street South, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety.

Officers say they’re running out of options. Despite giving out ticket after ticket, drivers aren’t slowing down.

Patrick Rhodes hopes drivers learn their lesson soon. The man who caused Monday's mess of mangled metal and collapsed concrete walked away, but the next one may not be as lucky.

“I’m just trying to figure out why you’re trying to rush to get to where you want to go. Just take your time. It’s just that simple," Rhodes said.