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MEDIA ALERT: Operation BFF happening Wed., February 10

Drivers: Cutting Off Pedestrians in Crosswalks is Costly

Best Foot Forward recognizes Crossing Guard Awareness Month by ticketing drivers who fail to yield at crosswalks near Orange County schools

PIC_0006February is Crossing Guard Awareness Month. To honor the more than 300 crossing guards in Orange County, the Orlando Police Department (OPD) and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) will be cracking down on motorists who fail to yield to students, parents and residents at crosswalks on Wednesday, Feb. 10 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward, this is the first of three high-visibility enforcement details in 2016. Motorists should be on the lookout for OPD and OCSO aggressively enforcing 11 marked crosswalks throughout Orange County. Undercover officers dressed in plain clothing will cross the street, giving motorists enough time to yield. Those who fail to yield will receive a verbal warning or, in some cases, a $164 ticket and three (3) points on their license. To date, 12 high visibility enforcement details have taken place and 2,187 citations have been issued to motorists as part of Operation Best Foot Forward.

Enforcement is part of the “Triple E” method that Best Foot Forward employs to increase driver yield rates. Education and outreach in areas with a high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities coupled with engineering improvements like street lighting, pavement markings and signals are also implemented to make roads safer for everyone.

Fast Facts on 2015 Pedestrian Crashes:

  • 73 kids 14-years-old and younger were injured or killed in Orange County, down slightly from 2014 (MetroPlan Orlando)
  • 586 people were injured or killed, that’s enough to fill almost two Boeing 747 planes (MetroPlan Orlando)

Fast Facts about Best Foot Forward since 2012:

  • 53 crosswalks have been enforced through Operation Best Foot Forward
  • The number of drivers who yield to pedestrians has increased from 17 to 59 percent on roads posted 35 mph and lower
  • The number of drivers who yield to pedestrians has increased from 2 to 21 percent on roads posted 40 mph and higher

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: Media is invited to Operation Best Foot Forward and will have the opportunity to speak to drivers, police officers and pedestrians. Times and locations below:

Crosswalk Enforcement Schedule for Wed., Feb. 10:

Crosswalk Time Nearby Schools Jurisdiction
S. Semoran Blvd. & Curry Ford Rd. 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Englewood ES, Dover Shores ES, Jackson MS, Colonial HS OPD
Conway Rd. & Michigan St. 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Conway ES, Conway MS OPD
E. Central Blvd. & Lake Ave. 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Hillcrest ES, Howard MS OPD
Lake Baldwin Ln. & Almond Dr. 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Audubon Park ES, Glenridge MS, Winter Park HS OPD
General Reese Ave., N of Parkland Dr. 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Audubon Park ES, Glenridge MS, Winter Park HS OPD
Lake Underhill Rd. & Palmer St. 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Lake Como ES, Howard MS, Boone HS OPD
Pine Hills Rd. & El Trio Way 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Ridgewood Park ES, Rolling Hills ES, Meadow Brook MS, Evans HS OCSO
Landstar Blvd. & Misley Dr. 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Oakshire ES, Wyndham Lake ES OCSO
Orange Blossom Trail, N. of Holden Ave. 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Palmetto ES, Pineloch ES, Catalina ES, Memorial MS OCSO
Woodbury Rd. & Mallory Circle 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Waterford ES, Discovery MS OCSO
International Dr. & Austrian Ct. 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Dr. Phillips HS, Southwest MS, Dr. Phillips ES OCSO

About Best Foot Forward & Pedestrian Safety in Metro Orlando

Smart Growth America’s Dangerous by Design Report ranked Metro Orlando as the “Most Dangerous” pedestrian metro of the past decade, where on average two pedestrians are injured every day and one is killed each week. The Best Foot Forward pedestrian safety initiative was launched in June 2012 to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. More than a campaign, this “Triple-E” behavioral change process seeks to create lasting social good through the consistent and persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education, and high-visibility enforcement.

Initiated by Bike/Walk Central Florida under the leadership of former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, spearheaded by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Best Foot Forward coalition includes Orange County Government, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Health, LYNX, Winter Park Health Foundation, MetroPlan Orlando, the City of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Winter Garden, Apopka, and towns of Eatonville and Windermere as well as police chiefs throughout Orange County led by Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The long-term goal is to cut pedestrian injuries in half in ten years. The short term goals are to increase driver yield rates by 60 percent on roads posted 35 mph and lower, and a 10 percent increase on driver yield rates year over year on roads posted 40 mph and higher. To learn more, visit www.iyield4peds.org.


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