'Dangerous' no more? Lights coming to stretch of U.S. 17 in Fleming Island

U.S. 17 is known by some as a dangerous stretch of road in Fleming Island.

People there say it's simply too dark in the early morning and at night, but for portions of that road, that's about to change.

"I've seen some horrible stuff out here,” says Jim Perry of Fleming Island.

More than 300 hundred crashes have occurred on U.S. 17 from Creighton Road to County Road 220 including a few that were fatal. People who live in the area say the lack of lighting contributes to an already dangerous road.

“We bring our kids out all the time so lighting would definitely make things safer," says Kraig Nosse. He says he and his family ride their bikes up and down U.S. 17 often and he says he’s not only concerned about safety on the walkway but also about the drivers on the road.

After more than 5 years in the making, the Fleming Island lighting project finally got the green light from the state for the Florida Department of Transportation to install the much-needed street lighting.

“it'll allow people to recognize things quicker and maybe avoid accidents,” says Nosse.

Mary Buckland moved to the area two months ago and says the new lights could improve safety for drivers and help law enforcement. "I think it will also help cops because they'll be able to see some of the speeders and people weaving in traffic.”

For others who’ve lived in the area a little longer, they say while more lighting could make a difference the number of accidents on U.S. 17 are caused by drivers who don’t follow the speed limit. “That's the number one culprit around here, speeders. If they increase the patrols and stop people from speeding, then it will save some lives,” says Perry.

The project is set to start sometime between May and June this year. It could take up to ten months to complete.

RELATED | 1 dead after four-car crash on U.S. 17 in Fleming Island

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