28 years old Aledys Llorens, a lifetime resident of Hialeah and father to a four-year-old daughter, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving was cut off by a driver illegally crossing through staggered poll dividers and into the much faster moving express lane. The motorcycle was unable to avoid the slower vehicle and slammed into the rear, throwing the driver over the car and killing him.
Flimsy plastic divider poll barricades are being blamed for allowing cars to pull out from the slower toll lanes, cutting off cars traveling at a high rate of speed in the express lanes. Motorists are calling for the county to construct sturdy concrete barriers to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future. The Department of Transportation does not feel that concrete barriers are possible as there is not enough room for their placement. According to www.miami.cbslocal.com, a DOT spokesperson stated that they are satisfied with the plastic poles. A reporter for the CBS4 News Crew followed up the DOT statements by inspecting the area in question and found poles broken or missing. As the express lanes are expanded from Miami to Delray Beach, 50 miles of plastic pole dividers are planned for use.
Residents of the area seem to think that the toll expressway will cause more problems than it solves and lead to slower, more dangerous traffic problems. Toll-free lanes have been decreased and toll express lanes increased. Only time and statistic will tell if the loss of life dictates a more effective and permanent barrier between the lanes. How many have to die until the DOT acknowledges that there may be a problem?