Lakeland blames distracted drivers for swans' deaths

The city of Lakeland thinks it has figured out why so many swans have been hit and killed by people driving around Lake Morton recently.

Six swans were hit in a recent three-week period. Five of them died. 

“It is distracted driving,” Lakeland city spokesman Kevin Cook told FOX 13 on Monday. 

People are looking at their texts, answering calls, checking social media, possibly adjusting their radios.

Whatever they’re doing, the result is deadly to the swans. The study found that speed is apparently not a factor in the swans’ deaths. It indicates that the average motorist drives 18 miles an hour around the lake, well below the 25-mile-an-hour speed limit.

The city is kicking around several possible solutions, possibly raised crosswalks, which could cost $30,000 or $40,000 each to install. There are other ideas on the table as well.

Cook says the city plans to launch a new website on Tuesday so that members of the public can give their input.