$90K grant approved for campaign to combat aggressive driving in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is cracking down on speeding an aggressive driving, and the effort is being funded by a $90,000 grant approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to News4JAX records, there was an annual increase in traffic fatalities over the last five years in Duval County, with the exception of 2022.

In 2018, the Florida Highway Patrol reported 143 traffic fatalities in Duval County. A year later, that number increased to 158. In 2020, FHP reported that it investigated 187 traffic fatalities, but JSO said that number was higher — approximately 205.

FHP in 2021 said 191 fatal crashes were investigated in Duval, but JSO said it investigated 207. The Sheriff’s Office in 2022 reported 169 fatalities in Duval and, as of publication, the FHP hadn’t yet posted its stats.

Since the start of 2023, Duval County has reported 34 traffic deaths.

Catia Schroeder lost her mother-in-law in a hit-and-run crash, and she says the project will benefit the community as a whole.

“It’s going to slow them down, pay attention to the roads more,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder’s mother-in-law, Helen Schafer, was hit and killed while she was crossing Merril Road in Arlington in 2016. JSO says the driver took off and left Schafer to die alone in the roadway.

Her case remains unsolved.

Schroeder hopes the project will help bring awareness in the community and that more traffic fatalities will be prevent.

JSO and the Patrol Support Division will oversee the project. The money will help with different expenses for the project like equipment, overtime salaries and more.