In the past year, three crosswalks monitored by the Best Foot Forward program in Osceola County have seen significant increases in driver yield rates after the installation of rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs).
Best Foot Forward (BFF) shared a little Valentine’s Day love with the students of North Kissimmee Christian School. The BFF Community Outreach team presented pedestrian and bicycle safety information to 96 elementary students on February 13.
The school, which hosts kids from Kissimmee, Poinciana and Orlando, is located a block away from two different BFF-monitored crosswalks – W. Donegan & Coral Ave. and Central Ave. & Hilda St. The crosswalk on Donegan is equipped with a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB). When a pedestrian pushes a button to cross, it activates flashing lights to alert drivers to stop for the pedestrian, as Florida law requires. BFF Roni Wood also saw two Kissimmee Police Officers assisting students to cross the street before and after school.
Roni immediately grabbed students’ attention by talking about the RRFB’s nearby that were familiar to the students. The children also really enjoyed the egg drop demonstration as an example of the importance of wearing a helmet. She drops an egg onto a hard tile and the kids get to see it splat (don’t worry, it’s in a ziplock bag). That’s an example of what could happen if you don’t wear a helmet. Then Roni drops an egg into a pile of Styrofoam packing peanuts to demonstrate how a helmet protects kids’ heads.
When asked if everyone owned a helmet that rode a bicycle, several children shook their heads “no.” One little girl made sure to mention on her way out that she did not have a helmet.
Roni also shared the importance of looking left-right-left before crossing the street, which really stuck with the students. By the time it was time to go back to class, the students were still singing “left-right-left” down the halls.
All 96 students received an activity book while each of the 21 teachers left feeling thankful for BFF’s visit and received an iYeild4Peds magnet.
Since the event, the BFF outreach team has looked into the possibility of coming back for a second presentation for middle and high school students and fitting the elementary students for helmets.