FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Driver compliance at Springfield crosswalks has risen to an average of 54% across Springfield, according to fourth quarter crosswalk compliance assessments conducted by the City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program. The increase is six percentage points higher compared to results from the fourth quarter of 2021.
The study sites for the fourth quarter of 2022 include: Mount Vernon at Golden Ave (near Westport Elementary), Bennett Street at Delaware Avenue (near Delaware Elementary), Grant Avenue north of Talmage Street (near Watkins Elementary), Broadway Avenue at Swan Street (at Mann Elementary), Mentor Avenue at Greeley Street (at Sequiota Elementary) and the downtown crosswalk on Trafficway near Hammons Field.
Crosswalks assessed this quarter mainly focus on crosswalks located near schools. The crosswalks were studied outside of the school start and dismissal times.
“More and more Springfield drivers are yielding to pedestrians, but there is still work to be done, particularly in school zones where children are the most vulnerable,” explains Traffic Safety professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “It is important that drivers respect school crosswalks all the time, especially when an adult crossing guard is present or when a school speed zone is in effect. We receive complaints of drivers blowing right by crossing guards and even stopped school buses with the stop arm deployed.”
In an effort to address dangerous driving near schools, the Springfield Police Department has created a new report form now available to crossing guards that allows officers to investigate school-related traffic offenses after the fact. If a crossing guard or bus driver can provide the license plate number and identify a suspected driver, the negligent driving behavior can lead to a conviction even without an officer present.
The fine for failing to yield to a pedestrian is set a $100 minimum.
“Ignoring traffic laws can be extremely dangerous, especially around schools,” says Buettgen-Quinn. “We want to make sure drivers are aware: break these laws around our schools and you could be identified and cited. We’re hoping this will lead to increased caution and increased safety for students.”
About Crosswalk Compliance Studies
Quarterly crosswalk assessments have been conducted by Springfield Public Works Traffic Operations division since 2017. Assessments evaluate driver compliance at six crosswalk sites with similar traffic speeds and characteristics. Two locations are studied each quarter as a control group. The remaining sites are selected from each of the four City Council zones. Results from each location are averaged to produce a snapshot of driver compliance across the city.
Springfield’s crosswalk compliance average in 2017 began with only 25% of drivers yielding. Since then, efforts in public education, crosswalk improvements, amendments to local crosswalk regulations and crosswalk enforcement “Yield Checks” have made an impact on local driving habits. Crosswalk improvements included construction of pedestrian refuge medians, raised crosswalks and installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at multiple crosswalks. Recently, SGF Yields partnered with five neighborhood associations to organize Lantern Walk events to help shine a light on pedestrian safety.
Learn more about SGF Yields crosswalk compliance assessments at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at [email protected] or 573-819-3713.