Immediate Release: Feb 3, 2014
Amanda Day (407) 716-8221
Joan Carragher (508) 415-3351
Dangerous Drivers, Beware.
OPD and OCSO are cracking down on motorists who won’t yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk this week.
What: February is Crossing Guard Awareness month and what better way to recognize the men and women who help students cross the street safely than by reminding motorists to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks, as Florida law requires. Failing to yield to pedestrians, who have the right of way, is a leading cause of pedestrian injuries in Orange County.
This week’s high-visibility enforcement, dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward, is part of the City of Orlando, Orange County, MetroPlan Orlando, LYNX and Orange County Public School’s comprehensive, effort to make streets safer. Studies show that periodic enforcement, along with sustained education and engineering improvements such as street lightening, paving markings, signals, can reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. This “Triple E” approach has seen success in increasing seat belt usage, addressing the drunk driver problem and increasing yield rates from 12% to 48% on roads 35mph and less in Orange County.
Operation Best Foot Forward involves an undercover officer posing as a pedestrian at marked crosswalks. For motorists failing to yield, they will be issued a warning or a ticket, at a cost of $164 per ticket and three (3) points on their license.
Media is invited to Operation Best Foot Forward and shall have the opportunity to speak to drivers, officers and pedestrians. This is the sixth high-visibility enforcement operation since the launch of Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety in May 2012. Times and locations below:
Crosswalk Enforcement Schedule
Tues., Feb. 4:
S. Semoran Blvd & Curry Ford Road 7:45 – 8:45am OPD
E. Michigan St. & N. Orange Ave 9:30-10:30am OPD
Wed., Feb 5:
Mercy Dr & Kalwit Lane 9:00 – 10:00 am OPD
International Drive & Austrian Ct. 10:00-11:00am OCSO
N. Pine Hills Rd N. of North Lane 10:00-11:00am OSCO
Woodbury Rd & Mallory Circle 10:00-11:00am OSCO
W. Oak Ridge Rd & S. Texas Ave (E. corner) 10:00-11:00am OSCO
Thur., Feb 6:
Metrowest Blvd & Kirkman Rd 9:00 – 10:00 am OPD
W. Colonial Dr. & N. Orange Blossom Tr. 10:30 – 11:30 am OPD
*E. Rollins St. & Camden Rd (FL Hosp area) 12:00 – 1:00 pm OPD
*denotes a change of date
Operation Best Foot Forward Background
This is the sixth high visibility pedestrian enforcement action since the launch of Best Foot Forward in May 2012. Since then, OPD and OCSO have issued more than 1,350 tickets and given over 3,870 warnings to drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Enforcement is critical in boosting yield rates because vehicles-versus-pedestrian culture seems to flourish when unchecked.
OPD and OCSO enforcement details, along with engineering improvements and education, are part of Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety efforts to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by half in five years. By employing this “Triple E” approach of engineering, education and enforcement, yield rates have jumped from 12% to 48% on roads 35mph and less.
On-Site Contact: Joan Carragher (508) 415-3351
About Best Foot Forward & Pedestrian Safety in Metro Orlando
Transportation For America ranked Metro Orlando as the “Most Dangerous” pedestrian metro of the past decade, where on average two pedestrians are injured every day and one is killed each week. The Best Foot Forward pedestrian safety initiative was launched in May 2012 to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. More than a campaign, this “Triple-E” behavioral change process seeks to create lasting social good through the consistent and persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education, and high-visibility enforcement.
Initiated by Bike/Walk Central Florida under the leadership of former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, spearheaded by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, the Best Foot Forward coalition includes Orange County Government, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Health, Lynx, Winter Park Health Foundation, MetroPlan Orlando, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida Bicycle Association, the City of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Winter Garden, Apopka, and towns of Eatonville and Windermere as well as police chiefs throughout Orange County led by Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
The mission is to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by half over five years. To learn more, go to www.iyield4peds.org.