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…
As more than 200,000 Orange County students enjoy their Spring Break holiday, law enforcement will be working to make sure the streets are safe when they return. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orlando Police Department will be enforcing Florida’s driver yield law at seven different crosswalks on March 20th.
Dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward, the dual crosswalk enforcement action reminds drivers Florida law requires them to stop and remain stopped for the person crossing in a marked crosswalk. Plainclothes officers cross at the designated marked crosswalks while uniformed officers monitor drivers’ compliance with the law. Those failing to stop for the pedestrian may be cited $164 and up to three (3) points on the driver’s license.
It’s all a part of the BFF’s Triple E approach to change driver behavior through education, engineering and enforcement. As an organization, Best Foot Forward hopes these enforcement operations will help drivers learn the law and understand how important it is pay attention and stop for the person trying to walk across the street using a crosswalks.
Since 2012, law enforcement has issued more than 3,390 tickets and 4,690 warnings throughout Orange and Osceola Counties and participating cities. Best Foot Forward has tracked progress from initial data showing approximately 9% of drivers stopped for people when crossing the street at targeted crosswalks. Today, that number hovers closer to 51% at those specific locations.
Please see the attached MEDIA RELEASE for more information.[embeddoc url=”https://www.iyield4peds.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/03.19.19BFFMarch-2019-Operation-BFF-Media-AlertFinal-v2.pdf” height=”250px” download=”all”]
This go around, OPD and OCSO will be out at the following crosswalks:
Orange County & City of Orlando: launched in June 2012
Osceola County & City of Kissimmee and St. Cloud: launched in October 2017
Crosswalk Enforcement Progress
Alafaya Drive & University Boulevard: This location near the entrance of the University of Central Florida is crowded, both with people on foot and in cars. BFF doesn’t usually monitor intersections with traffic signals, but drivers failing to yield to PEDS when making right-hand turns can make for a deadly scenario. OCSO will be at this location cracking down on drivers who fail to yield at when turning.
Lancaster Road & Voltaire Drive: Rapid flashing beacons were installed at this crosswalk earlier this year, and a center refuge island will soon follow. Pedestrians often get trapped in the middle turning lane, with drivers passing them on either side. The refuge island will help improve visibility and provide a safe place for people to stop while crossing this wide road.
N. Pine Hills Road & midblock crossing near Alhambra Drive: This crosswalk, near residences, shopping centers and schools, has a yield rate of just 16% – which is the equivalent of 16 out of 100 drivers stopping for people in this crosswalk.
N. Pine Hills Road & El Trio Way: Our data collector witnessed a 3-car fender-bender while observing this intersection. We’ve been monitoring this crosswalk for 7 years and the yield rate has increased from 10% to 24% – making progress, but still too low.
Westwood Boulevard near I-Drive: Westwood Boulevard was recently resurfaced with some new crosswalk features added, and while the vertical lines of the crosswalk remain, the ladder stripes are gone. Fortunately, Orange County will be adding these stripes back soon. BFF will be gathering baseline data on this crosswalk to see if more drivers are stopping as changes occur along this road.
E. Central Boulevard & Rosearden Drive: This crosswalk has only a 7% yield rate, despite being located near several schools. BFF is seeking baseline data to see the impact of new crosswalk installations.
70 West Gore Street (Midblock): This crosswalk was recently moved, and there is sidewalk construction nearby. The volume of pedestrians using this crosswalk increases greatly during lunch and breaks, but drivers don’t necessarily know that, or stop for them.
About Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety Program
The Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety program is administered by Bike/Walk Central Florida and first launched in Orange County in 2012. It expanded to Osceola County in 2017 and will be launching in Seminole County in 2019.
Best Foot Forward was launched to reverse the conflict between pedestrians and drivers by focusing on one specific behavior change – getting more drivers to yield and stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks as Florida law requires. More than a campaign, Best Foot Forward is a behavior change-based program designed to improve road safety through consistent and persistent education, high-visibility enforcement and low-cost engineering at marked crosswalks around elementary schools, LYNX bus stops, urban areas and high-speed roads.
Best Foot Forward Coalition
Initiated and administered by Bike/Walk Central Florida, the Best Foot Forward coalition includes: MetroPlan Orlando, City of Orlando and Orlando Police Department, City of Kissimmee and Kissimmee Police Department, City of St. Cloud and St. Cloud Police Department, Orange County Government, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Public Schools, Osceola County Government, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Public Schools, Lynx, Orlando Health, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Transportation, the University of Miami’s WalkSafe program, Winter Park Health Foundation.