News To Use / People On Foot

Results Are In from November Operation Best Foot Forward

UPDATE: Orlando, Fla. – Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office joined officers from the Kissimmee, St. Cloud and Casselberry Police Departments to conduct the fourth and final Operation Best Foot Forward this year on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11. At ten crosswalks across Central Florida, agencies reminded drivers with 154 warnings and citations that they must yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks as Florida law requires.  

This week was chosen because the number of fatal traffic crashes spike the weeks following the end of daylight saving time, leaving pedestrians most at risk, according to several national studies.  That’s a trend the Best Foot Forward Pedestrian Safety Program and local law enforcement agencies are working to reverse.  

Operation Best Foot Forward (BFF) highlights:
 
Enforcement Totals
agencies participated
10 crosswalks were enforced
154 warnings and citations were issued
 
Traditional Media
53 Media placements on Operation Best Foot Forward
$154,000 in earned media value
1.9 million impressions
 
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)
132 curated posts
59k impressions 
5.2k engagements
 

How It Works and the Consequences

During the enforcement, a plain-clothes officer or deputy crosses the street, legally, using the marked crosswalk and giving drivers enough time to slow and stop for them.  If drivers don’t obey the law and stop for the pedestrian, they may get a minimum $164 fine. The citation also adds three points on their license.

High Visibility Enforcement Equals A Lot of Visibility

News coverage is a key component of Operation Best Foot Forward, because reporters help educate drivers about Florida’s pedestrian laws. The point of an operation isn’t to ticket as many drivers as possible, it’s to educate as many drivers as possible, and media visibility does just that.

Media interest was high, with 53 media placements the week of the operation including five local television news stations. Additional coverage included WMFE, WPMZ and WDBO radio, Positively Osceola, La Prensa and other local publications. It is estimated nearly 1.9 million media impressions were made in Central Florida about Operation Best Foot Forward, equating to nearly $154,000 in earned media value.

The enforcement operation was also a big hit on social media. Best Foot Forward and Bike/Walk Central Florida posts garnered nearly 59,000 impressions with its posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Click here for full traditional and social media report.


The Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices uses large signs to announce a visibility crosswalk enforcement to drivers at Buenaventura Blvd. and Briarwood Dr.

Local law enforcement agencies to conduct two-day crosswalk enforcement operation in Orange and Osceola, and Seminole Counties

Nov. 10, 2020, Orlando, Fla. – Deputies with the Orange and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices will join officers from the Orlando, Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Casselberry Police Departments to conduct the fourth and final crosswalk enforcement operation of this year on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11 starting at 7:30 a.m. 

This week was chosen because the number of fatal traffic crashes spike the weeks following the end of daylight saving time, leaving pedestrians most at risk, according to several national studies.  That’s a trend the Best Foot Forward Pedestrian Safety Program and local law enforcement agencies are working to reverse.

Operation Best Foot Forward, crosswalk enforcement actions, are part of a greater, comprehensive effort to educate drivers about Florida’s driver yield laws and curb the pattern of aggressive behavior towards pedestrians.  During the operation, plainclothes deputies and officers cross the street at marked crosswalks, giving drivers ample time to yield as Florida law requires. Drivers who fail to comply may be issued a warning or a citation starting at $164 and three points on their license. 

Where and When:

Operation Schedule of Enforcement

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Orlando Police Department
07:30-09:00 – Virginia Dr. & N. Bumby Ave.
07:30-09:00 – 458 W. Livingston St.
07:30-09:00 –Livingston St. & Lee Ave.
09:30-11:00 – Michigan Ave. & Cayman Way
09:30-11:00 – Edgewater Dr. & Shady Ln.

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
07:30-08:15 – N. Doverplum Rd. & San Remo Rd.
09:15-10:00 – Buenaventura Blvd. & Briarwood Dr.
10:45-11:30 – 3200 Rolling Oaks

Kissimmee Police Department
08:00-09:00 – S. Thacker Ave & W. Ernest St.
10:00-11:30 – Dyer Blvd. & Kensington Ave.

St. Cloud Police Department
08:15-08:45 – 10th St. & Mississippi Ave.
09:00-09:30 – Lakeshore Blvd. & Maryland Ave.
09:45-10:15 – Old Canoe Creek Blvd. & 5th St.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Orange County Sheriff’s Office
09:30-10:30 – Pine Hills Rd. & El Trio Way
09:30-10:30 – Alafaya Trail & University Blvd.
09:30-10:30 – Rio Grande Ave. & 40th St.
09:30-10:30 – Apopka Vineland Rd N. of Lake St.
(11947 S Apopka Vineland Rd.)

Casselberry Police Department
09:30-10:30 – Button Rd. & Seminola Blvd.

An Orlando Police officer pulls over a driver who failed to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk at Metrowest Blvd & MetroCenter Blvd.

Background on several crosswalk enforcement locations

Michigan Ave. & Cayman Way, City of Orlando

  • Five lane road, 35 mph
  • Known for drivers speeding
  • City of Orlando installed new pavement markings and signage this week

Edgewater Dr. & Shady Ln, City of Orlando

  • Low speed road, 30 mph
  • City of Orlando recently removed parking space on Edgewater Dr. to make pedestrians more visible to drivers

Buenaventura Blvd. & Briarwood Dr, Osceola County

  • High-speed road, 40 mph
  • Poor driver compliance to the driver-yield law
  • Previous crosswalk operation, a driver almost struck the plainclothes officer crossing in the crosswalk

Doverplum Rd. & San Remo Rd., Osceola County

  • High speed road, 45mph
  • Osceola County recently added pedestrian-activated signal and flex sticks to stop driver for making right hand turn onto Doverplum Rd.

Pine Hills Rd. & El Trio Way, Orange County

  • High speed road, 45mph
  • Poor yielding compliance. On average, two out of ten (20%) of drivers comply with the driver-yield law at this location
  • Orange County recently added a new pedestrian-activated signal to warn drivers of a pedestrian crossing

Dyer Blvd. & Kensington Ave., City of Kissimmee

  • Low speed road, 30 mph
  • Located at the Kissimmee trail and close proximity to six schools and the popular Osceola Village

Old Canoe Creek Blvd. & 5th St., City of St. Cloud

  • Low speed road, 25 mph
  • Located near a tree-covered trail frequently used by pedestrians walking to Walmart

About Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety Program

The Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety program is administered by the local non-profit Bike/Walk Central Florida and first launched in Orange County and the City of Orlando in 2012. It expanded to Osceola County, Kissimmee and St. Cloud in 2017 and Seminole County in October 2019. Best Foot Forward is now made up of some 38 coalition partners across Central Florida.

Best Foot Forward was created to reverse the conflict between pedestrians and drivers by focusing on one specific behavior change – getting more drivers to yield 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 crosswalk enforcement and low-cost engineering at marked crosswalks in close proximity to elementary schools and LYNX bus stops, in urban areas and cross-sections of low and high-speed roads.

Best Foot Forward program progress: 2012-2020

  • Operating in three counties, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties
  • More than 9,800 citations and warnings issued since 2012
  • 165 crosswalks enforced by law enforcement
  • 40 percent increase – average yielding behavior change at those crosswalks being tracked by Best Foot Forward

Covering Orange, Osceola and now Seminole Counties, Best Foot Forward is the largest grassroots coalition focused on pedestrian safety in the nation. Since 2012, when Best Foot Forward was launched, the percentage of drivers yielding to people in marked crosswalks has increased from 17% to more than 58% on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph and lower and 1% to 43% on roads 40 mph and higher.

About Bike/Walk Central Florida, Administers the Best Foot Forward Program

Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF) is a 501(c)(3) that promotes walkable and bikeable communities through raising public awareness and advocating for safe, active transportation and recreation.

BWCF manages the Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety program for its partners in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. 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. Best Foot Forward was launched in Orange County in June 2012. It more recently expanded into Osceola County in 2017 and Seminole County in 2019. Best Foot Forward is one of the largest grassroots programs of its kind in the nation.

BWCF coordinates the Bike5Cities program and its annual bike ride to promote safe bicycling routes and enhanced multi-use trails throughout Central Florida. The organization supports building, expanding and linking regional trails and completing Coast-to-Coast Connector trail. BWCF encourages transportation corridor planning and design by using Complete Streets principles for the benefit of all transportation users. To learn more, go to http://bikewalkcentralflorida.org/.

 

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