Operation Best Foot Forward wrapped up its most expansive enforcement to date last Friday, with…
Less than half of all drivers yield to pedestrians at Central Florida trail crossings, according to data collected by the Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety (BFF) program. To educate drivers and help reverse this dangerous trend, officers and deputies from ten law enforcement agencies in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole County recently teamed up for a series of enforcement details at popular trail crossings from April 25 and May 5, 2023.
“Central Florida’s trails are a popular destination for locals and visitors,” said Emily Hanna, Executive Director of Bike/Walk Central Florida, the nonprofit organization that administers the Best Foot Forward program. “Drivers should always be extra cautious around trail crossings, where more people are walking and biking.”
Despite trails being known as high-traffic areas for people walking and biking, data collected through the BFF program shows that only 46% of drivers are yielding to pedestrians at the 12 popular trail crossings being monitored this year. During Operation Best Foot Forward, plainclothes officers and deputies crossed streets at marked crosswalks, giving drivers enough time to slow down and stop safely. Drivers who did not stop as Florida law requires were pulled over and faced a minimum $164 citation and three (3) points on their driver’s license.
In total, this two-week high-visibility enforcement operation consisted of:
- 19 enforcement details at 18 different crosswalks
- 10 participating law enforcement agencies, including the Orange & Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices and police departments in Apopka, Casselberry, Kissimmee, Longwood, Oakland, Orlando, St. Cloud, and Winter Park
- 227 ‘failure to yield’ warnings and citations issued to drivers
- 14 news broadcasts reaching approximately 220,000 viewers
Many of the crosswalks selected for this operation were located on biking and walking trails or near outdoor parks. Examples of these crossings include:
- Park Ave. & Tanglewilde St. in Apopka, which first started being monitored this year by BFF and was enforced for the first time as part of Operation Best Foot Forward
- Forsyth Road at Cady Way Trail in Orange County, a crosswalk within the 7-mile stretch of the Cady Way Trail that links Orlando and Winter Park
- Budinger Ave. & Peghorn Way in St. Cloud, where only 24% of drivers are yielding to pedestrians, according to data collected by the Best Foot Forward program
- Dyer Blvd. & Kissimmee Trail in Kissimmee near the Kissimmee Gateway Airport, which was active with bikers and pedestrians on the Kissimmee Trail
- Lake Dr. & Park Dr. in Casselberry in front of All Faiths Memorial Park, where only 19% of drivers are yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk this year
- Oakland Ave. & Sansparilla Rd. in Oakland, which recently installed a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) for pedestrians and cyclists in front of the Oakland Nature Preserve