FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Driver compliance at Springfield crosswalks has recently risen to an average of 53% across Springfield, according to second quarter crosswalk compliance assessments conducted by the City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program. The increase is four percentage points higher compared to results from the first quarter of 2023.
“Crosswalk enforcement, or “Yield Checks,” are an important part of our SGF Yields pedestrian safety campaign,” explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “Even though enforcement occurs only once a week at a single location, we find that drivers tend to routinely pay more attention at all crosswalks across town.”
Funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Springfield Police Department began Crosswalk Yield Checks in March of this year. Officers gave out warnings for the first two months. Since May, citations have been written to those who fail to yield with a $100 minimum fine.
“Crosswalk enforcement is only one piece of our pedestrian safety program, but an important one,” says Buettgen-Quinn. “It takes a mix of engineering, education, evaluation, encouragement and enforcement to help change driver habits.”
Quarterly crosswalk assessments have been conducted by Springfield Public Works Traffic Engineering 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 began in 2017 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.
Learn more about SGF Yields crosswalk compliance assessments and Yield Checks at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.
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Media contact: Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].