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Crackdown At The Crosswalks – School Is Out, And So Are The Cops

Crackdown at the crosswalks – school is out, and so are the cops

Orlando Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Office to enforce Florida’s driver yield law at marked crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety in Orange County and City of Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – To keep roads safe for the more than 203,000 Orange County students starting summer break, the Orlando Police Department (OPD) and Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) will be out in full force reminding drivers to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks during Operation Best Foot Forward on Wednesday, June 14, starting at 7:30 a.m.

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.  Motorists who fail to yield will be issued a warning or a ticket – costing them $164 and three (3) points on their license. To date, more than 6,500 citations and warnings have been issued by OPD and OCSO at 59 monitored crosswalks.

Enforcement is part of the “Triple E” method that Best Foot Forward employs to increase driver yield rates. Education and outreach in areas with a high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities coupled with engineering improvements like street lighting, pavement markings and signals are also implemented to make roads safer for everyone.

Fast Facts – 2016 Pedestrian Crashes

  • 50 people walking were struck and killed in Orange County in 2016
  • 637 people were injured crossing the street in Orange County – that’s enough to fill two Boeing 747 planes

Fast Facts – Best Foot Forward Program

  • 2,401 citations and 4,168 warnings have been issued by OPD and OCSO through Operation Best Foot Forward
  • 17 to 63 percent: the percentage increase in drivers now yielding to people in crosswalks on roads posted 35 mph and lower (Best Foot Forward crosswalks measured)
  • 2 to 28 percent: the percentage increase in drivers now yielding to people using marked crosswalks on roads posted 40 mph and higher (Best Foot Forward crosswalks measured)

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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. Contact Amanda Day, (407) 716-8221 (cell). Times and locations below:

Crash Report Update

In 2016, 50 people walking were struck and killed in Orange County alone and 637 people were injured crossing the street according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. From January to May 2017, 32 people walking have been killed and 284 injured in Orange County.  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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Download a PDF of the press release

FAST FACTS ABOUT OPERATION BEST FOOT FORWARD (BFF)
aka High-Visibility Enforcement Action with OCSO and OPD since 2012.

4,168: # of warnings issued to drivers failing to yield to a person in a marked crosswalk.
2,401:  # of citations given to drivers for violating Florida driver yield laws.

59:  # of marked crosswalks OPD & OCSO have enforced via Operation BFF – aka High Visibility Enforcement (HVE).
335:  # of High-Visibility Enforcement details

THE ANSWER TO WHY OPERATION BFF?

In 2011 and 2014, the Orlando metro area was ranked the most dangerous place in the U.S. for people crossing the street. In 2016, the area improved to third most dangerous place in the nation.
Source: Dangerous by Design, 2011, 2014, 2016  Reports, Smart Growth America

In Orange County (incorporated and unincorporated)…

On average, 36 people are killed and 540 are injured every year for doing something as simple as walking across the street. Source: MetroPlan Orlando, 2015 Crash Trends Report, 2007-2015

3,016: # of people injured or killed crossing Orange County streets in the last five years.  That’s the equivalent of seven Boeing 747 planes crashing in Orange County.
Source: MetroPlan Orlando, 2015 Crash Trends Report, 2007-2016

637:  # of people injured or killed in 2016.  50 people were killed in 2016.
Source: Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System https://firesportal.com/Pages/Public/QuickStats.aspx

 76: # of kids under 14 who are struck by a car on average each year in Orange County.
Source: MetroPlan Orlando, 2015 Crash Trends Report, 2007-2015

Nationwide…

46,149 people have died while walking on our streets in the U.S. between 2005 and 2014.  That’s enough to fill the Amway Center more than two times. On average, 13 people were struck and killed by a car while walking every day in 2014. 676,000 people have been injured trying to cross U.S. streets. This time they would fill the Amway Center more than 30 times over.  Source: Dangerous by Design 2016 Report, U.S. pedestrian fatalities 2005-2014.

MAKING PROGRESS ONE YIELD RATE AT A TIME.

More drivers are yielding to people walking in crosswalks today than they were three years ago in the City of Orlando and Orange County. See how!

63% of drivers are now yielding on roads 35 mph and lower.
That jumped from 17% in 2012 to 63% in 2016. Drivers more likely to yield on roads with slower speeds.

28% of drivers are now yielding on roads 40 mph and higher.
Jumped from ONLY 2% (that’s 2 out of 100 cars) in 2012 to 28% in 2016.

Operation BFF gets results.  Before each operation, OCPS school crossing guards track the number of drivers stopping for people in the marked crosswalks being measured by the Best Foot Forward Coalition.  After Operation BFF, our crossing guards measure again – calculating whether drivers got the message and are yielding to pedestrians as Florida law requires.  Since 2012, driver yield rates have increased. Below are the crosswalks OCSO and OPD will be cracking down on starting at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Download a PDF of the fact sheet

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