TAMPA FL — Postal Service customers have driven through eight Suncoast District Post Offices this year (see attachment). The Postal Service is urging customers to stay alert and attentive while driving in Post Office parking lots.
Following are precautions drivers need to adopt while driving in and out of parking spaces:
- Avoid distracted driving.
- Proceed slowly and carefully when pulling in, and backing out, of parking spaces.
- Visibly check to see whether your foot is on the gas pedal or the brake pedal.
- Visibly check to see if the vehicle is in Park, Reverse or Drive.
Customers in Post Office parking lots may have their minds on everything but driving, as they run their daily errands. Post Office parking lots have quick turnover times, with cars parked for less than five minutes. It only takes one second for an accident to occur.
There are employees, customers and pedestrians at Post Offices and a vehicle accident can result in serious injuries, or even fatalities.
Fortunately, the eight accidents have not resulted in fatalities. However, the accidents have caused injuries and property damage.
The top two causes of customers driving through Post Offices are:
- Stepping on the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal.
- Accelerating when the vehicle was in drive and the customer thought it was in reverse.
Customers are asked to protect themselves and others by staying alert and attentive while driving in Post Office parking lots.
U. S. Postal Service, Suncoast District
(Suncoast District includes Post Offices with the first three digits of the ZIP Code beginning with 321, 327, 328, 329, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 341, 342, 346, 347)
CUSTOMERS DRIVING VEHICLES THROUGH POST OFFICES
9/17/2012; Punta Gorda. Customer pressed the gas instead of the brakes and ran into the building, hitting a front pillar.
8/21/2012; Leesburg. Customer she said she was startled by something falling from the sky and accelerated into the post office lobby.
07/02/2012; Fruitland Park. Customer pulled into the wrong parking lot and was going to back out. He did not realize the vehicle was in drive and stepped on the accelerator, driving into the retail area.
6/14/2012; Lakeland MPO. Customer was sitting in vehicle talking to husband, put foot on the gas instead of the brake, ran over the curb and knocked down a light pole.
March 5, 2012; Goldenrod. Customer drove vehicle into front lobby of PO. Customer thought she was pressing brake pedal as she was parking in handicap parking spot in front of PO. Instead she pushed gas pedal and drove vehicle into one of the building's mail supports.
February 12/2012; Vero Beach-Tropic Branch. Customer failed to brake and drove vehicle thru postal lobby.
February 8, 2012; Wimauma. Customer hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, hitting the front of the Post Office. The front bumper of the car hit the brick portion of the building breaking the front glass windows.
1/3/2012; Indian Rocks Beach. Customer was leaving Post Office when foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator, sending car forward over the curb into the east wall of the Post Office. Car hit a cinder block wall, knocking down 2 sets of package lockers on the inside wall.
The accidents below occurred in 2011:
12/17/2011; Clearwater MPO. Customer drove vehicle into the Post Office, causing damage to the building and the PO Box section.
6/20/2011; Oldsmar Post Office. Customer stepped on the gas and drove through the front doors and lobby, into the work area where carriers were sorting mail.
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