FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program is stepping up their driver crosswalk compliance efforts. Beginning in March, fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and you may get pulled over.
Funded through a $21,120 grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, 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, making our community more pedestrian friendly.
Between March and October 2021, 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 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,” explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “For the first few months, officers will hand out warnings and educational materials to those who don’t comply. After that, they may begin issuing citations if necessary.”
According to quarterly crosswalk compliance assessments, Springfield drivers currently yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk approximately 43% of the time. National studies show that educational enforcement activities like Yield Checks can result in up to 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 in plain clothing will act as a 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 three-month warning period, drivers may receive citations for blatant violations. Officers may also address any pedestrians that do not follow regulations, providing similar warnings and education to those who 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 at facebook.com/sgfyields, or email [email protected].
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].