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People On Foot

Operation BFF in Osceola & Kissimmee promotes safety during back-to-school

Last week, over 72,000 students headed back to the books for a new school year in Osceola County. With kids back in school and more people walking to the recently-opened SunRail stations, it’s important that drivers are reminded of the Florida driver yield law that requires them to stop for people walking in marked crosswalks. That’s why the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), Kissimmee Police Department (KPD) and the St. Cloud Police Department (SCPD) hit the crosswalks on Wednesday, August 15 for another enforcement known Operation Best Foot Forward (BFF).

KPD Sgt. Berrio prepares to step into the crosswalk.

Here’s the drill – officers in everyday clothes attempt to cross the street in marked crosswalks. Motorists who fail to stop for them face a $164 ticket and three points on their motorist’s license. Despite local media reminders and signs notifying them of the operation, over 60 citations and warnings were handed out to drivers who didn’t stop at a total of five crosswalks throughout the county. Shout out to our BFFs at OCSO, KPD and SCPD for braving the Florida heat to help keep people safe.

Operation BFF is a time to educate as well. Each of those stops started a conversation about a driver’s role when it comes to keeping our roads safe for people walking. When it comes to social media, our partners hit it out of the park by helping spread the message. Kudos to the City of Kissimmee, Mayor Alvarez and Commissioner Fisher, KPD Chief O’Dell, Osceola County and their Commissioners Grieb and Janer and MetroPlan Orlando for the shares and retweets which helped spread the word to an estimated 31.8K people online.

Melissa Zayas-Moreno with the City of Kissimmee talks to WFTV about the importance of safe crossings for people walking.

Plus, we were able to spread the message far and wide via radio, print and television thanks to our local media stations. Their coverage of the story reached an estimated 619K viewers and readers, boosting the Operation BFF impact far past the limits of the crosswalk location. You can check out some of this great coverage on our YouTube channel.

Three cheers for all of our BFFs – law enforcement, partners, media and everyone in between. Without these passionate folks, the roots of this very important grassroots movement would not be growing so rapidly.

For a full recap of all things Operation BFF, you can check out our overview below. Our next step is to see how many drivers are stopping for people in crosswalks – stay tuned for a report on driver yield rates.

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