Protecting Children: Orange County Public Works Installs Raised Crosswalks at Most Dangerous School Crossings
News from Orange County Government News Room: It’s a frightening sight: a car or truck…
7 crosswalks. More than 40 law enforcement officers. 62 traffic stops. 50 citations given. Countless lives saved.
This was the result of the most recent Operation Best Foot Forward in Orange County and Orlando. Operation BFF is a high-visibility enforcement action, where the Best Foot Forward coalition targets a number of marked crosswalks in order to remind drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing the street, as Florida law requires.
Here are pictures from the March 20 Operation BFF.
It’s a big operation. Before the traffic tickets start flying, the BFF coalition comes together. These meetings include planners and engineers at the city, county and regional level, as well as officers, deputies and school officials who make recommendations for crosswalks that need enforcement. But it’s not that easy. Often our team will go out into the neighborhoods and meet with residents to hear their concerns and help educate them on Florida laws. Next our data collectors go out an observe all the potential crosswalks. They have a strict set of criteria to decide if a crosswalk is enforceable. Drivers must be able to see the pedestrian and have enough distance to safely stop based on the speed of the road. Deputies must have a safe place to pull drivers over and issue citations. Many other factors come into play, but once the group decides on the crosswalks and the date—they hit the streets.
Law enforcement have a “decoy” or plainclothes deputy, or officer walk across the street in the crosswalk. If drivers don’t stop like they should, they get a $164 reminder. One of the benefits of Operation BFF is that it can show a need for engineering changes. One crosswalk was chosen this time because it was recently moved. Testing was needed to see if the engineering improvements are working.
Some highlights of BFF’s progress since the program began in 2012:
A big part of enforcement operations is getting the media to help spread the word. ultimate goal is awareness—getting more drivers to stop for people in crosswalks and media coverage certainly furthers that mission.
Crosswalks Enforced on March 20 Operation BFF