A Look At Safety Concerns About Highway 29, Highway 196 Intersection

June 13, 2024

Safety concerns are once again being raised after another serious crash Tuesday at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 196 in Molino.

In the past 10 years, there have been 66 crashes at or near the intersection, according to data provided to NorthEscambia.com by the Florida Highway Patrol. Of those, three were fatal and three more left individuals with incapacitating injuries. There were 17 other injuries and 32 people were not injured. FHP said alcohol contributed to three of the wrecks.

Tuesday’s crash injured a 17-year-old teen and a 50-year-old, but they are expected to be okay. Details have not been released by troopers as their investigation continues.

On January 26 of this year, 17-year-old Tate High School student Bradley Ellertson died when a semi-truck and a Kia Soul collided at the intersection. FHP said the driver of the Kia Soul, a 16-year-old female from Pensacola, was traveling eastbound on Highway 196 when she ran the stop sign at Highway 29 and collided with the oncoming semi-truck.

Overall control of safety measures at the intersection falls with the Florida Department of Transportation due to Highway 29. However, Highway 196 is a county road.

“There have been a number of serious accidents,” Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry said.

Barry said the January crash that killed Ellertson prompted him and the county to ask FDOT to evaluate the intersection for any safety improvements, including any need for a traffic light. He said previous state studies have shown a traffic light was not appropriate.

In the meantime, Barry said the county will install flashing LED lights on the Highway 196 stop signs to improve driver attention. Barry has coordinated the installation of additional lighting with Florida Power & Light, and those lights are expected to be installed in mid to late July after delayed materials are delivered.

“The county is working with our partners to do everything under our control to improve safety at the intersection,” the commissioner added.

Pictured top: Data shows the crashes at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 196 in Molino over the last 10 years. Also pictured: A Tuesday crash at the intersection. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


20 Responses to “A Look At Safety Concerns About Highway 29, Highway 196 Intersection”

  1. Molino Resident on June 14th, 2024 11:22 pm

    Even with knowing this is a dangerous intersection, sometimes when I travel on Hwy 196 towards Hwy 29 I can’t tell I’m getting close until I’m almost to Hwy 29. I feel flashing lights on the stop signs would be helpful.

  2. What's needed on June 14th, 2024 6:32 pm

    What is needed is an interstate highway connecting I-10 to I-65, preferably passing through either Escambia County or, more appropriately, through Santa Rosa County. This would alleviate the burden of high-speed through traffic on local communities.

  3. Enforcement on June 14th, 2024 7:22 am

    Rumble strips don’t work. Once a careless driver finds that the intersection has rumble strips they cross into the opposing lane and just drive around them. I watched multiple car do that yesterday. Also if you want to advocate for rumble strips put them in front of your house and see if you enjoy the constant noise.

    As for everything else these are methods that work but you can’t fix someone who feels entitled to driving any way they feel they can. The only way this will slow things down is law enforcement and instead of fines community service picking up trash along the highways. So they can get a sense of how dangerous their actions really are.

  4. JR on June 13th, 2024 11:38 pm

    Texting and driving should be a felony.

  5. Crystal on June 13th, 2024 8:56 pm

    Kris the rumble strips will have to be maintained. I know of a intersection where they were not maintained and the driver crossing over the strips could not feel them. It was a very foggy morning and this driver was hit by an 18 wheeler (I think)……in this case the driver did not make it. But as long as they are maintained and replaced when they get wore down it should help.

  6. Traffic Circles and Service Roads on June 13th, 2024 7:57 pm

    Just got back from a rather long trip.

    I saw a large increase in the number of traffic circles used on rather large roadways and intersections. Yield going in, choose your exit. Definitely slows down cars at intersections, yet no backups. I think 29/196 would be a perfect place for a circle.

    And in Texas, service roads are just part of the system on 4 lane highways. And, there are limited access exits and entrances. This essentially eliminates or reduces intersections.

    Unfortunately, FDOT’s policy encourages new roadways to be developed (like Blue Angel Parkway or the Milton Dogwood Drive “bypass”, and unlimited intersection and driveway connects are allowed and development takes over the “bypass.” Its a bad policy.

  7. Culturally embedded on June 13th, 2024 7:13 pm

    Maybe there is a culture of reckless driving that is considered as a norm in the community.

    No traffic signal or rumble strip will change that. That has to change from within.

  8. Kris on June 13th, 2024 12:24 pm

    I STILL SAY THAT RUMBLE STRIPS ARE ALL THAT’S NEEDED! Those will get the driver’s attention!

  9. driver on June 13th, 2024 10:34 am

    Either put a light at every intersection, or JUST add more speed bumps.

    How about this, send the traffic unit around to do their job!!!!!!!!! Like the Michigan hwy. 500, palafox 500, or the 29 & I10 (35) 60

    NOT just escort funerals.

  10. Denise Dubrock on June 13th, 2024 10:11 am

    They have put 5 traffic lights in Beulah! There is NO reason there isn’t traffic light here!

  11. Frustrated on June 13th, 2024 10:00 am

    In the first six comments there are points that FDOT, FHP, ECSO & the county commissioner should take pay attention too.
    1. Traffic lights don’t fix problems or change careless driver habits they bottleneck traffic
    2. Cell phone use, speed, driver attitudes & driving experience contribute to accidents
    3. Hwy 29N from Cantonment to Hwy 97 & further IS NOT patrolled by FHP or ECSO traffic unit, to find either up here would be comparable to finding hens teeth
    4. The Hwy 29 N traffic data speaks volumes! The numbers don’t lie. This is the ONLY artery north out of or south into the county, it’s the Escambia County Autobahn & it’s unmonitored!
    5. The intersection is dangerous, ignore that fact & you’ll be a statistic, you may be one anyway
    6. Politicians only address problems that affect elections, serious accidents in the area didn’t just start with a recent tragic death, there have been many tragic traffic deaths up here in the last five yrs
    7. Attempts to further develop this rural area will only increase traffic & traffic accidents
    8. Speed limit signs, hill blocks view signs, flashing lights, intersection ahead signs & many others are a waste of taxpayer money & a ridiculous answer when people don’t read them, pay attention or care

  12. Bill T on June 13th, 2024 9:27 am

    If you think a light is going to change anything you’re wrong !!! This is a careless driver issue and an uphill battle to fix this !! It’s obvious some people are very careful and some very careless !!! Check the reasons why the wreck happened !! A light is worthless if people don’t obey the rules and use caution!!

  13. David on June 13th, 2024 9:20 am

    Flashing amber for North/South travel, and bright Red flashing lights for East/West travel. Not a complete solution but maybe it will notify drivers of that intersection, for it is very dark along Hwy 29 and 196 and many people are not familiar with the road.

  14. Willis on June 13th, 2024 9:08 am

    As channel 3 set there filming their story yesterday there was a car sitting at the stop sign waiting on traffic and being careful as you are supposed to do.
    The pickup behind them decided he didn’t want to sit there and so he drove around them to cross Highway 29.

    Way too many driver issues for a red light to fix.

  15. straightshooter on June 13th, 2024 8:43 am

    Over 10 years, 6.6 accidents a year, I am only guessing at the number of vehicles a year travel that intersection, I would think at least over a million a year.

    So at least a million vehicles go down Hwy each year and 6.6 average accidents. You want a red light because 6.6 drivers out of a million were careless.

  16. Eric on June 13th, 2024 8:12 am

    Based on 17,700 cars daily that pass**, that’s one accident for every million vehicles that pass through there*. So do we need traffic lights to “stop” the one in a million? I don’t think so.

    *(17,700 x 365 x 10) / 66 = 978,863
    ** fdot traffic data

  17. Start enforcing the laws on June 13th, 2024 8:04 am

    Start enforcing the road laws maybe we wouldn’t have so many damn accidents. SEVERAL people go 80 + right there not giving a damn whether other people have families to go home too or not cause they are in such a hurry. Was almost hit SEVERAL times from people speeding through here, semis included. We have speed and traffic laws for a reason. Use them. I feel a light could help some of the congestion. But ultimately we need more man power to enforce the laws in that section.

  18. Lou on June 13th, 2024 7:57 am

    Prayers for those involved. A traffic light is not the solution. People do not pay attention and some, do not know how to drive! Judgement, when driving takes years of experience. Maybe moving the permit age to 18 would help and No Cell Phone while driving. There are more people, traffic, cars and phones on all our roads. Wish everyone would put away the phones while driving, do the speed limit and enjoy their drive….safely!

  19. Neighbor on June 13th, 2024 4:57 am

    A traffic light may not fix stupid, but it gives a careful driver, a fair chance of getting out at that crossroad safely, perhaps.

  20. Barrineau on June 13th, 2024 3:09 am

    Just look how well traffic lights have helped at molino road and hwy 97…..they haven’t ! Lights do not fix carelessness !