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A new perspective on ped safety

 

PIC_0012Having lived in Orlando for close to three years, I’ve learned that defensive driving is the rule of the road. After witnessing Operation Best Foot Forward, a day where undercover police cross the street to enforce drivers to yield, I have a whole new perspective.

My new perspective is one of caution and respect for pedestrians. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been an aware driver but now I understand the difficulty of crossing the street. Now when I drive, I notice the families crossing the street on their way to school or the joggers on their morning runs.

The driver mentality in Orlando is that everyone, whether you’re 16 or 60 years old, only looks out for themselves. This mentality doesn’t waiver when it comes to yielding for pedestrians. After watching lines of cars receive citations for failing to yield, I now make sure to completely stop for those crossing the street.

The solution to Orlando’s issue with pedestrian safety is a simple one; educate and enforce citizens to yield for pedestrians. This is a lot easier said than done. With citizens already set in their driving ways it is difficult to change their habits without consistent enforcement.

Some quick observations I noticed:

  • Drivers are unaware of the traffic law to completely stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Where there were no signals for the pedestrians, drivers were a lot less likely to yield.
  • On a right turn, many times people don’t check to see if a pedestrian is crossing the road; drivers are only checking for oncoming traffic.

By Kellie Woods, BWCF/BFF intern

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