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Final Operation Best Foot Forward of 2020 Reminds Drivers of Their Responsibilities

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office joined officers from the Kissimmee, St. Cloud and Casselberry Police Departments to conduct the fourth and final Operation Best Foot Forward this year on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11. At ten crosswalks across Central Florida, agencies reminded drivers with 154 warnings and citations that they must yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks as Florida law requires.  

This week was chosen because the number of fatal traffic crashes spike the weeks following the end of daylight saving time, leaving pedestrians most at risk, according to several national studies.  That’s a trend the Best Foot Forward Pedestrian Safety Program and local law enforcement agencies are working to reverse.  

Orange County Sheriffs Deputies and Sam Weekley with Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District at Operation on Pine Hills Rd.

How It Works and the Consequences

During the enforcement, a plain-clothes officer or deputy crosses the street, legally, using the marked crosswalk and giving drivers enough time to slow and stop for them.  If drivers don’t obey the law and stop for the pedestrian, they may get a minimum $164 fine. The citation also adds three points on their license.

Orange County Sheriff Sgt. Vidler with BFF decoy

Kissimmee Police Chief O'Dell

Drivers are warned

High Visibility Equals A Lot of Visibility

News coverage is a key component of Operation Best Foot Forward, because reporters help educate drivers about Florida’s pedestrian laws. The point of an operation isn’t to ticket as many drivers as possible, it’s to educate as many drivers as possible, and media visibility does just that.

Media interest was high, with 53 media placements the week of the operation including five local television news stations. Additional coverage included WMFE, WPMZ and WDBO radio, Positively Osceola, La Prensa and other local publications. It is estimated nearly 1.9 million media impressions were made in Central Florida about Operation Best Foot Forward, equating to nearly $154,000 in earned media value.

The enforcement operation was also a big hit on social media. Best Foot Forward and Bike/Walk Central Florida posts garnered nearly 59,000 impressions with its posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See full traditional and social media report below:

Full Operation BFF Media Report November 10 & 11, 2020

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