This Wednesday, police in Orange County initiated higher vigilance and presence around six intersections in Orange County in an ongoing attempt to decrease pedestrian fatalities throughout the area. A part of the ongoing Operation Best Foot Forward, the increased police monitoring is aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian fatalities in Orange county after a particularly bad year of accidents. The initial day of heightened observation focused around crosswalks and intersections known throughout Orange County for their difficulty in crossing on foot.
In an official statement, Master Deputy Robert Graham admitted that the problem is not always with the cars, and that there are numerous incidents that might have been avoided if the pedestrian obeyed the posted crosswalk laws; however, Deputy Graham went on to say that the problem that Operation Best Foot Forward seeks to tackle revolves around pedestrians who are using the crosswalks but are still getting struck by cars.
Throughout the day, drivers who were found to violate the crosswalk laws were pulled over and ticketed. As of this writing, the fine in Florida for breaking the law stating that vehicles must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks is $164 as well as three points added to the driver’s license. During only one hour at one intersection of Wednesday’s heightened presence, over 12 tickets were handed out.
Operation Best Foot Forward, which began in 2012, aims at reducing the number of pedestrian fatalities, and the program’s track record is so far quite impressive. In the five years since the initiative’s inception, roads which received special targeting by the police operation have seen a 63% rise in the rate of yielding to pedestrians. This suggests that the problem is not so much savage drivers as it is distracted or unaware drivers. The ultimate goal of this operation is to get to the point where tickets no longer need to be issued against those who violate crosswalk laws. While clearly a long term strategy, the fact that Operation Best Foot Forward is already seeing marked success throughout Orange County indicates that the time and energy spent in observing Orange County’s intersections is time well spent.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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