Operation Best Foot Forward Works to Keep Pedestrians and Drivers Safe

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.

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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:

  • Since 2012, BFF has monitored 85 total crosswalks.
  • Law enforcement partners have issued 7,612 citations and warnings to drivers failing to yield to pedestrians during 381 Operation BFF enforcement details.
  • BFF partners have participated in 378 events and presentations.
  • In 2018, BFF garnered more than $650,000 in media value and 3,750,000 impressions.
  • In 2018, 22 crosswalks were monitored and enforced in the City of Orlando and Orange County.
  • 60% of drivers yield to pedestrians at monitored crosswalks on roads 35mph and lower in Orange County & City of Orlando – a jump from 17% in 2012.
  • 21% of drivers yield to pedestrians on roads 40mph and higher in Orange County & City of Orlando – a jump from just 2% in 2012. (Click here for complete 7-year list of BFF crosswalks monitored, including yield rates).

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

Alafaya Dr. & University Blvd.

Lancaster Rd. & Voltaire Dr.

Pine Hills Rd. & midblock crossing near Alhambra Dr.

Pine Hills Rd. & El Trio Way

Westwood Blvd. & midblock near I-Drive

Central Blvd. & Rosearden Dr.

70 W. Gore St.

See entire Album of Pictures from Mar. 20 Operation BFF

Watch local media coverage of Mar. 20 Operation BFF

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