MEDIA ALERT: Operation Best Foot Forward happening Wed., March 15

Operation Best Foot Forward: Crackdown at the Crosswalks

Orange County Sheriff’s Office to enforce Florida’s driver yield law

at marked crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) will be cracking down on drivers who fail to yield for a person crossing the street in a marked crosswalk this Wednesday, March 15, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward, officers will be enforcing Florida’s driver yield law on corridors such as Pine Hills Road, north of the site of a hit-and-run in February that killed a mother-of-three.  Officers will also be on Universal Blvd., where two drivers struck and killed a man crossing the street and at other crosswalks throughout Orange County.   A driver failing to yield may warrant a warning or a $164 citation and three (3) points on the motorist’s license.

Studies show that when you combine Engineering, Education and Enforcement over a prolonged period of time, driver behavior changes.  If left unchecked the vehicle-versus-pedestrian culture flourishes. Operation Best Foot Forward is a high-visibility, dual-enforcement action to remind drivers about Florida’s driver yield law. Undercover officers wear plain clothes and cross the street at a marked crosswalk, giving motorists enough time to yield. Since Operation Best Foot Forward began in 2012, driver yield rates spiked 38%, from 17% to 60%, at crosswalks located on roads posted at 35 mph and less.

Facts – Best Foot Forward Program

  • 54: the number of marked crosswalks Orlando Police Department (OPD) and OCSO have enforced through Operation Best Foot Forward since June 2012
  • 2,369 citations and more than 4,000 warnings have been issued by OPD and OCSO through Operation Best Foot Forward
  • 102: school related crosswalk engineering enhancements such as new pavement, upgraded signage and ADA compliance
  • 350: number of Best Foot Forward educational workshops, presentations and events in the City of Orlando and Orange County

Facts – Driver Yield Rates

  • From 17 to 60 percent: the percentage increase from 2012 to 2016 in drivers now yielding to people in crosswalks on roads posted 35 mph and lower (BFF crosswalks measured)
  • From 2 to 21 percent: the percentage increase from 2012 to 2016 in drivers now yielding to people using marked crosswalks on roads posted 40 mph and higher (BFF crosswalks measured)

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: Media is invited to Operation Best Foot Forward and will have the opportunity to speak to drivers, police officers and pedestrians. Times and locations below:Crash Report Update

In 2016, 46 people walking were struck and killed in Orange County alone and 633 people were injured crossing the street.  As of March 1, 13 people have been struck and killed and at least 100 injured in Orange County to start the year.  These numbers have contributed to the Metro Orlando area’s distinction as one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the nation.

Total Traffic Fatalities Up

The National Safety Council reported in February that it estimates 40,200 people died in traffic fatalities in 2016, a 6 percent increase from the previous year.  If that estimate is confirmed, it will be the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 people have died in motor vehicle accidents.  The National Safety Council attributes the rise to distracted driving and an improved economy with more people driving more miles.

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