Bigger Driving Aids Ahead in Florida
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ As Florida’s population gets older, road signs, stop lights and lane markers will get bigger.
Ben Watts, secretary of the state Department of Transportation, approved the changes Tuesday under the Older Road-User program to make driving easier for senior citizens.
The plan calls for wider stripes separating lanes, oversized road signs that are easier to read and traffic lights that are bigger and brighter.
In Florida, 17 percent of the residents were over 65 by 1980. By 2020, forecasters say, one quarter of Floridians will be in that age bracket, compared with one in six Americans nationally.
Most changes would be at or near major intersections, statistically the most likely places for accidents.
Some of the proposals have been tested in pilot projects along busy U.S. 19 in Clearwater and New Port Richey, said Chris Call, a transportation department spokeswoman. She said the changes have been cheap and simple to implement - and effective.