City Keeps Its Vehicles Off Beach

From Associated Press

The city has restricted the use of all its vehicles on beaches in response to an accident that killed a sunbathing French tourist.

The Miami Beach Police Department had no official policy for beach driving before the city decided to place all city vehicles under a policy previously followed only by the Beach Patrol.

City Manager Jorge M. Gonzalez said he decided to extend the policy temporarily while Miami Beach conducts a comprehensive review of beach driving policies.

Stephanie Tunc, 27, and her sister Sandrine, 26, were sunbathing Feb. 22 when they were run over by a Miami Beach police officer in a sport utility vehicle who was looking for a robbery suspect. Stephanie died; Sandrine at one time had been in critical condition but was discharged Friday from a Miami hospital.

The officer involved is on administrative leave.

The interim policy requires officers to use bicycles or all-terrain vehicles instead of larger vehicles for routine patrols and to use flashing lights when driving on the beach.

Drivers of city vehicles on the beach also must limit their speed to 15 mph, refrain from using cell phones and stay off soft sand when possible.

The policy does not cover county, state or federal vehicles or those that supply concessions.

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