Officers ticketing drivers who ignore turn lane closure in downtown Sarasota

Image 1 of 4

Signs went up weeks ago, telling drivers there are no left turns off U.S. 301 onto Ringling Boulevard or Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

Drivers aren't getting the message, so officers are handing out tickets instead. Anyone that's caught turning left is breaking the law, but also endangering other drivers. 

"If that light is green and they’re looking at the green light, [the 'no left turn' sign is] literally right next to that light," Sarasota PD Officer Jason Frank pointed out, theorizing drivers just aren't paying attention. "The first person sits there and waits and then they pull out in the middle of the intersection, which is against the law, as well. Then they make the left turn. Well everybody that has been waiting behind them is now stuck."

The Florida Department of Transportation put the signs up weeks ago and temporarily closed turn lanes for construction on a drainage improvement project. FDOT says the turn lanes should be back open in a few more weeks, after the construction is complete.

Still, change can be hard.  

"I can see where people would be not used to the sign being there because you’re so used to being able to do something and go a certain way," said Kimber Skowronski. "You have to be aware of the signs and what’s going on."

If you don't pay attention, you're taking a chance of getting a $166 ticket and three points on your license. 

"The main thing is: Slow down and pay attention to your surroundings," said Officer Frank.