Destin’s $50,000 Granting: Combating the City’s Traffic Problems


According to the State Department of Transportation, the city ranks in the top 25% of all cities in terms of the number of speed-related traffic accidents it encounters each year. However, the city has received federal funding to address the issue.

Destin was awarded a $50,000 grant. That money will be used to fund additional sheriff’s office enforcement targeting speeders.

According to Destin Mayor Bobby Wagner, too many drivers are impatient.

“We’ve had our partnership now with Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and with our partnership together we’ve been awarded some grant money and that’s going to allow some off-duty officers to come out and focus on speeding,” the mayor explained.

According to Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jason Fulghum, the highways with the most problems include Highway 98, Airport Road, Gulf Shore Drive, and Main Street.

“On rare occasions, we’ve had people in their 90s and 100s,” Capt. Fulghum explained.

For law enforcement, the city works with the sheriff’s office.

The $50,000 federal funding will enable the sheriff’s office to expand enforcement without affecting the municipal or sheriff’s budgets.

Mayor Wagner also stated that the city is thinking about making adjustments to some of its roads to make it more difficult for vehicles to speed.

“Our city council and our sheriff’s office have been taking different approaches and we’re trying to make sure that we approach the issue with data and safety at heart,” Wagner, the mayor, told reporters.

“Highway 98 is nicknamed Bloody 98 in this area for a reason,” stated Capt. Fulghum. “They’ve had quite a few deaths take place over the years from Highway 98, so it’s a real issue.”

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