FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program is once again stepping up their driver crosswalk compliance efforts. Beginning Friday, March 24 fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and you may get pulled over. The first Yield Check will be conducted at the intersection of Golden Avenue and Mount Vernon Street in the Westside Neighborhood.
Funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation that funds overtime-based enforcement for hazardous moving violations, the Springfield Police Department, in partnership with SGF Yields, will begin conducting weekly driver Yield Checks at well-marked crosswalk locations. The goal of the exercise is to further increase our local yielding rate at crosswalks through education-focused high-visibility enforcement, making our community more pedestrian friendly.
This spring, the grant will fund three police officers on overtime for one four-hour Yield Check shift per week. The public will be notified of upcoming Crosswalk Yield Check locations in advance via news release and social media. Results of the exercise will also be reported to the public.
“Crosswalk Yield Checks are a way to give the community a friendly nudge to obey the rules,” says City Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “Our goal is education through enforcement. For about the first month of Yield Check activities, officers will provide a warning and education materials. After that, they may begin issuing citations as necessary.”
According to quarterly crosswalk compliance assessments, Springfield drivers currently yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk approximately 54% of the time. National studies show that educational enforcement activities like Yield Checks can result in 70% or more of drivers yielding at crosswalks.
How Crosswalk Yield Checks Work
Three police officers will station themselves at a designated crosswalk location for approximately four hours, monitoring for driver compliance. One officer will act as a decoy pedestrian, a second will function as a spotter and a third will be in a patrol car, ready to stop those who do not properly yield to the pedestrian.
Posted signage will alert drivers that they are approaching a Yield Check location. Those who are stopped will be provided a warning and educational materials. After a warning period period of about a month, drivers may receive citations for blatant violations. Officers may also address any pedestrians that do not follow regulations and put themselves or others at risk.
The public will be notified of upcoming Crosswalk Yield Check locations in advance via news release and social media. Results of the exercise will also be reported to the public.
Crosswalk Yield Check locations are determined by Springfield Public Works and Springfield Police Department with guidance and input from citizens through the SGF Yields Citizen Action Group.
For more information about Crosswalk Yield Checks and the SGF Yields pedestrian safety program, please visit springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields, follow SGF Yields on facebook, or email [email protected].
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Media contact: Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].