Road conditions are not always safe when you leave the house to drive to work or run errands. Violent weather can quickly bring down a road sign or blow large tree limbs into the roadway. As you drive, you may notice conditions that could pose a danger to you, your passengers or other drivers and their passengers. When you make note of a potential hazard, you need to report that to the appropriate Florida city and county law enforcement officials so conditions can be made safe for you and other drivers.
What Qualifies as a “Hazardous Road Condition?”
Different municipalities have different criteria for determining what could constitute a road hazard. For instance, some counties may not count shoulder erosion as a road hazard while other municipalities do consider this a hazardous condition. Because some counties such as Hernando county are close to the ocean, an eroded road shoulder could quickly become a dangerous situation, leading to cars running off the road. Some examples of road hazards in Spring Hill, Brooksville and Wesley Chapel include water ponding on a roadway, traffic signals that have been damaged or brought down, shoulder erosion, malfunctioning traffic signals, potholes, obstructions, dips or bumps in the road or traffic intersections and controls obstructed by vegetation. These conditions make it hard for you, as a driver, to drive safely from point A to point B without placing yourself or other drivers at risk of a collision, and they should be reported as soon as possible.
In the instance of overgrown vegetation blocking your line of sight, you should be able to stop at an intersection, look down the road and see if traffic is approaching you. You cannot do this if a tree, bush or shrub has grown so large that it overtakes the adjacent sidewalk and blocks your vision. To get a better line of sight, you might feel the need to slowly bring your car forward into the intersection. While this helps you see farther, it also places you and approaching drivers at risk of a collision because the front of your car is now intruding into the intersection, blocking the path of oncoming drivers.
As you drive, keep your safety and that of others on the road in mind. Do not drive into large puddles of water. If you notice the shoulders of the road have begun to crumble and erode, steer more closely to the center of the road and make a note of the shoulder erosion’s location. For other hazardous conditions, such as damaged or missing traffic signs or malfunctioning traffic signals, keep in mind where these are.
Where to Report Hazardous Road Conditions
Do not call to report a hazardous road issue from your cell phone as you are driving. This causes you to become distracted. Instead, stop when it is safe and place your call.
To report a hazardous road condition outside the community of Brooksville, call the Hernando County Sheriff's Department at (352) 597-3300. If you do not have a cell phone, they are located at 4041 Shoal Line Boulevard. For a road hazard in the Spring Hill area, call the Sheriff’s office substation at (352) 688-5000. Their office is located at 7499 Forest Oaks Boulevard in Spring Hill.
If you spot a road hazard within the Brooksville city limits, call the Brooksville Police Department at (352) 754-6800. Again, if you do not have a cell phone, drive to their location at 87 Veterans Avenue.
For road hazards in the Wesley Chapel area, call the Pasco County Sheriff’s office at (352) 521-5131. Their office is located at 37312 Howard Avenue in Dade City.