If you see a pedestrian in a crosswalk while you are driving down the road, keep in mind that walker has the right of way and you need to yield.
Especially Friday morning.
The weeks just after Daylight Saving Time ends are some of the most dangerous of the year for pedestrians, according to national studies. That’s why the county’s three policing units (Osceola Sheriff’s, Kissimmee and St. Cloud Police) are stepping up enforcement at crosswalks and cracking down on drivers who don’t yield for pedestrians — hey folks, it’s Florida law.
Operation BFF starts at 8 a.m. at crosswalks chosen because they are particularly dangerous, or are in a high-crash corridor, or have recent engineering changes.
Drivers who fail to stop can be issued a warning or a citation of $166 and three points on their license. To date, more than 8,536 warnings and citations have been issued to drivers in Orange and Osceola counties during Best Foot Forward crosswalk enforcement operations. What’s worse, so far this year 75 pedestrians have been hit and 9 people have died crossing the street in Osceola County, according to Florida Highway Patrol and local police reports.
Some of the intersections you’ll find police at Friday include one near Osceola High School,. a recently widened intersection near Kissimmee Elementary and Middle schools, a portion of the high-speed part of Buenaventura Boulevard and a Shingle Creek Trail crossing of Hoagland Boulevard.
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 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.
Osceola County’s government, law enforcement agencies and school district are all Osceola County members of the Best Foot Forward Coalition.