Safety & Accident

Accident Calls for Updated Jacksonville Safety Policy

June 01, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The city has added new safety guidelines to employees' beach driving policy after the alleged May 1 incident in which a 41-year old woman was run over by a police SUV while sunbathing, according to the First Coast News.

The victim, 41-year-old Ann Marie Giffin, reportedly suffered critical injuries. After the accident, the Jacksonville Beach Mayor Fland Sharp ordered a review of beach-driving policy.

On May 28, police released the report, which includes some new safety guidelines for employees, effective immediately, according to First Coast.

-The updated policy now calls for all newly hired employees and contractors authorized to operate a motor vehicle to receive training incorporating beach driving safety guidelines.

-At a minimum, biennial refresher training incorporating beach driving safety guidelines will be provided to all current employees and vendors or contractors authorized to operate a motor vehicle on the beach.

-Some of the new safety guidelines include common sense precautions, such as drivers maintaining a safe distance from beach-goers, and maintaining a safe speed.

-Drivers are also required to watch for people who may not be paying attention to vehicles on the beach. Drivers are to be aware that small children or animals may dart without warning in front of a motor vehicle.

-If a vehicle is stopped for any reason, drivers are to walk around in a counter-clockwise direction before moving to ensure movement can be made safely.

The results of the Jacksonville Beach Police investigation show that officer Lewis Keller, "absolutely did not see anyone laying in the sand" in front of his vehicle as he attempted to make a u-turn on May 1, according to First Coast.

An investigation of the inside of the police SUV found a laptop computer mounted on a stand may have partially blocked the officer's view. Investigators concluded that the vehicle was also driving on an incline at the time, which would have made it "extremely difficult, if not impossible to see [Giffin] after the turn."

Police say Ann Marie Giffin is showing signs of improvement on a daily basis. Giffin has been removed from the respirator at the hospital and is now beginning to talk once again, reported First Coast.


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