Best Foot Forward Program Summary
Situation: The objective is to improve pedestrian safety by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. On average, at least 15 people are injured or killed each week crossing the street in Central Florida. The Best Foot Forward program integrates several community organizations to build a formidable pedestrian safety coalition to increase drivers’ yielding behavior to more than 60%, with the goal to reduce the number of collisions between drivers and people walking.
Audience Coalition: The audience includes the involvement of transportation planners & traffic engineers, local governments, law enforcement agencies, transit authorities, metro planning organizations, school administrators, health professionals, non-profits, entrepreneurs, homeowner associations and safety advocates who have a role in Enforcing the laws, Educating people, Engineering roadways and Evaluating outcomes.
Audience Public: The primary audience is drivers. Secondary audiences are people walking. The geography covers Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
Methods: The strategic approach was to develop a branded, grassroots pedestrian safety initiative to be piloted to drivers in Orange County and City of Orlando for three to four years. Under the direction of the Best Foot Forward (BFF) coalition, they adopted the “Triple E” method of combining high-visibility Enforcement, Education and low-cost Engineering at those crosswalks with a low level of driver compliance to pedestrian-right-of way laws. Best Foot Forward would collect data and evaluate whether the “Triple E” method increases drivers yielding on a city or countywide basis and could produce a change in the culture to favor drivers yielding and stopping to pedestrians. NHTSA: High-Visibility Enforcement on Driver Compliance with Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws, Report no. DOT HS 811 786
Results: The percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians in marked crosswalks within the City of Orlando and Orange County increased from an average baseline of 17% in 2012 to more than 57% in 2018 on streets posted 35 mph or less. On roads posted 40 mph and higher, an average of 2% of drivers were yielding in 2012 and now the number hovers closer to 43%.