News Flash

City of Springfield News Releases (General)

Posted on: October 4, 2021

Springfield driver yielding rate at crosswalks reaches 63% in third quarter assessments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECrosswalk Study Sites - 3Q2021

Continuing public education, crosswalk improvements, amendments to local crosswalk regulations and five months of “Yield Check” enforcement activities have made a difference in local driving habits. Third quarter crosswalk assessments conducted through the City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program show driver compliance has risen to an average of 63% across Springfield, an increase of 19 percentage points compared to third quarter 2020. 

The quarterly assessment, performed by Springfield Public Works Traffic Operations division since 2017, evaluates driver compliance at six crosswalk sites with similar traffic speeds and characteristics. Two locations are studied every 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. 

Study sites for third quarter of 2021 included crosswalks at Boonville Avenue near Central Street, Grant Avenue near Talmage Street, Bennett Street at Delaware Avenue, Lone Pine Avenue near Allen Street, Broadmoor Avenue at Weaver Street and St. Louis Street at the Expo Center.  

SGF Yields uses a three-pronged approach involving education, engineering and enforcement in an effort to encourage a cultural change in the community and make Springfield more pedestrian friendly. The local crosswalk yielding average began at 25% of drivers yielding when crosswalk assessments started in 2017.  

“The progress indicates that our combination of efforts including education at schools, modifications to crosswalk design and recent “Yield Check” enforcement activities are resulting in safer crosswalks city-wide,” says Traffic Safety professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “The ultimate goal is for 100% of drivers to stop each and every time. It’s encouraging that every quarter the community is making progress toward that goal.”  

October is National Pedestrian Safety Month

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated October as National Pedestrian Safety month. 

“Annually, nearly 70 pedestrians are struck by a car on Springfield’s roads,” explains Buettgen-Quinn. “Crash reports show there are similar amounts of drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks as there are pedestrians stepping out into traffic when they shouldn’t. It’s important that both groups watch out for one another.”    

SGF Yields pedestrian safety program offers the following tips to make Springfield safer and more pedestrian-friendly: 

Pedestrian Safety Tips:

  1. Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If one is not available, walk facing traffic and as far from vehicles as possible.
  2. Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  3. Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians, and look for cars in all directions, including those turning. If neither are available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely and watch for traffic as you cross.
  4. Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
  5. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots. 

Driver Safety Tips:

  1. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  2. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. And, never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you cannot see.
  3. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop far enough back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see and stop for the crossing pedestrians.
  4. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
  5. Be extra cautious when backing up — pedestrians can move into your path.

For more information on crosswalk compliance studies and the City’s efforts to increase pedestrian safety, visit the SGF Yields webpage at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.  

 # # # 

For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected] 

Learn more about SGF Yields.
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