Interested in Tampa?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Tampa each week.
Topics include Dining Scene, United States: For Foreign Visitors & more!
connects Tampa with Daytona Beach via Orlando. It is the principal cross-state highway in the central part of the state, and is a major tourist travel venue. Constructed in the mid-1960's as a four-lane limited-access highway divided by a grass median, it later became completely inadequate for the volume of traffic it carried. Cross-median head-on accidents became commonplace and the traffic death toll was high.
In recent years the corridor has seen extensive construction, with many lanes being added in the most heavily congested areas, notably near Tampa and Orlando. Construction in Polk County, East of Hillsborough County where Tampa is located, is still in progress. These construction areas are still quite hazardous!
Even when construction is completed it is likely that the highway will not adequately accommodate the constantly increasing volume of traffic found on I-4. Hazards include tailgating, weaving from lane to lane, unreasonably high speeds and other types of aggressive driving.
Because of the foregoing, law enforcement agencies in the various counties through which I-4 extends, as well as the Florida Highway Patrol are engaged in a fairly strict ZERO TOLERANCE program for traffic offenses on the highway. As a traveler on this highway, drivers are well advised to drive within the speed limit, stay in the right lane(s) except when passing and avoid confrontations with careless drivers - just let them get past you and out of your way.
Also be aware that the speed limits in the construction areas sometimes seem unreasonably low and the areas where the lower limits are in force often extend into parts of the highway where no construction appears to be going on. This tempts the driver to speed up. Carefully note the changing speed limits and observe them! Absence of construction workers does not mean that the speed limits will not be enforced!
By the way............ fines in construction areas are DOUBLE that of ordinary fines if construction workers are present at the time of the offense.
In spite of all of this, I-4 continues to be the most efficient way to drive to and from Tampa if your travel plans also include Orlando or Daytona Beach.