NewsRegion North Pinellas


Drivers along US 19 beg for more deputy enforcement to make the highway safer

Death Valley: one of FL's most dangerous streets
Posted at 3:50 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 09:24:12-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla.- Drivers call it "death valley", the stretch of US 19 between Curlew Road and E Klosterman where within the past 5 years 2,000 people have been hurt and 17 killed.

On Sunday, a roll over crash near US 19 and Alderman backed up traffic for blocks and terrified drivers that have been begging for something to be done to make the highway safer.

People who drive along the stretch of US 19 between Curlew and E Klosterman in North Pinellas County are begging Pinellas County deputies and FHP troopers to step up and patrol more to keep speeders and erratic drivers in line. 

Drivers say the real problem is with speeders and distracted drivers putting themselves and others in risk along the extremely busy highway. 

Rosanne De Mari Myers tells us, "We need more police presence on US 19 to slow down these reckless drivers. This stretch of road is dangerous! People are in a hurry to get nowhere. It's better to be late somewhere than end up hurt or dead because you are being reckless. It is always the innocent people that get hurt because of these careless drivers."

Patricia Sullivan Avery agrees.

"Hey! we need cops in this area!," she exclaimed, "They use to sit and enforce along US 19. No one is ever there anymore and so dangerous."

One business owner, Ryan Goodman, of Good to Go Chiropractic even started a blog called "Pray for me, I drive US 19" to call attention to the dangers along the road and encourage drivers to be more careful. 

“Ive never seen more accidents in my life than I have here on US 19," Goodman explained.

Both FHP and PCSO routinely patrol US 19 but FHP is the main agency responsible for enforcement along the highway. They also investigate any and all crashes on this stretch of highway. FHP tells us they do not have any upcoming sting operations to target excessive speeding.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office also has jurisdiction over this stretch of road and tells us they  will continue to enforce any and all traffic laws. 

Drivers hope this past weekend's accident will encourage FHP and law enforcement officers to think twice about stepping up patrols.