Best Foot Forward=Safe Walkers

Volunteers—including Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker—held up and waved “I Yield for Peds” signs at school crossings in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville on the first day of school,August 20, to promote local efforts to make the streets safer children and other pedestrians of all ages.

The effort is part of the Best Foot Forward (BFF), a community-wide campaign supported by law enforcement officials and community leaders from throughout the area, to reduce accidents and make local streets safer for walkers and drivers.

BFF uses a three-prong approach that includes providing education about state crosswalk laws, enforcement when laws are violated and using engineering (signs and crosswalks) to make streets safer for pedestrians.

Law enforcement officials over the summer issued more than 1,600 warnings to drivers reminding them of the law. They are now in the enforcement phase. Drivers who are ticketed for failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks—as required by law—face a fine of $164 and three points on his or her driver’s license.

BFF is supported in part by a $108,250 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation through its Community Health and Older Adults Work Groups. Its goal is to unseat Metro Orlando from its position as number one in the nation for pedestrian deaths and injuries. On average, a pedestrian is killed every week and two are injured every day.  BFF is an initiative of Bike/Walk Central Florida.

For more information, go to www.iYield4Peds.org.