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Newsletter / People On Foot

Observations from a first-time BFF

DSC02279Orlando has a problem with pedestrian safety – and it’s a big deal.

I moved to Orlando from Michigan six months ago. And one of the big things – aside from the heat – that I immediately noticed was the high number of vehicle/pedestrian accidents, many of which were deadly.

So taking part in Operation Best Foot Forward this week was eye-opening. Here are a few things I just want touch on during my first enforcement:

  • A lot of drivers do not stop for pedestrians – and that’s not an exaggeration. I was surprised by the number of cars that would roll right by a pedestrian, who was clearly one-or-two steps already into the crosswalk, without even a flicker of a break light. Where I grew up in rural Northern Michigan we looked out for deer with more caution than many of these drivers were with a human life just mere feet away.
  • Let’s lay off the horns. Prime example would be the driver turning right onto West Colonial Drive from Orange Blossom Trail who honked at Orlando Police Sgt. Richard Ruth as he crossed the street. Yeah, she was pulled over.
  • People do care. Throughout the different neighborhoods where we were at, residents – some walking along the sidewalk and others in their vehicles – stopped and asked questions. They were curious what was going on with the police presence in the area, were open to share problems that they had previously had at the crosswalk or another one nearby and were even recommending fixes to make it safer. So thank you to those people. We should all be invested in our communities.
  • And lastly, a big kudos goes to the law enforcement officials who are there, patrolling the area, and keeping us all safe. They are a good group of hardworking guys.

– Dana Harris

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