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Best Foot Forward

Study: 50% of Central Florida drivers fail to yield at crosswalks within ¼ mile of schools

Best Foot Forward and APD coming to Apopka Memorial Middle School Wednesday


More than 50% of Central Florida drivers in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks within a quarter mile of schools, according to data collected by the Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety (BFF) program. With a crash injuring an Orlando Crossing Guard and a child just a few weeks ago, law enforcement agencies from across the three-county region will be conducting a two-week high-visibility crosswalk enforcement operation dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward starting Monday, January 30, and concluding Friday, February 10, 2023. These efforts align with Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, honoring those working to keep our kids safe, taking place this year on Friday, February 3. 

On Wednesday, February 1st, from 8-9 am, the Apopka Police Department will be at Apopka Memorial Middle School on Votaw Road enforcing the crosswalk yield.

Best Foot Forward data shows that only 47% of drivers yield to pedestrians within crosswalks less than a 1/4 mile from a school when a crosswalk is brought into the program. Florida law requires that drivers yield to a pedestrian in every crosswalk, marked or otherwise, anywhere in the state. Over the ten-year history of Best Foot Forward, the program has monitored 283 crosswalks, and 17% are within 1/4 mile of a school. This year, 2023, the program monitors 77 crosswalks and 13 near schools. Fortunately, the BFF program and its coalition partners effectively combine education, engineering, and enforcement. As a result, the number of drivers yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks within a quarter mile of schools has increased by 25% at crosswalks that are a part of the Best Foot Forward program. 

During Operation Best Foot Forward, plainclothes officers and deputies will cross streets at marked crosswalks, giving drivers enough time to slow down and stop safely. Drivers who do not stop as Florida law requires will be pulled over and face a minimum $164 citation and three (3) points on their driver’s license. 

The two-week-long effort also aims to recognize the hard work and dedication of those who protect Florida’s school children across the state. Crossing Guard Appreciation Day takes place on Friday, February 3, 2023. Last February, the Florida Department of Transportation named Seminole County Crossing Guard Pat Alfonso the 2021 Florida Crossing Guard of the Year. According to the 2022 proclamation by Governor Ron DeSantis, “Florida school crossing guards are professionals who provide an essential service to our communities and deserve special recognition for their tireless efforts.” The Best Foot Forward program aims to magnify that recognition.  

“Our crossing guards have a very important job to do, to get our kids safely across the road and on their way to school,” said Emily Hanna, Executive Director of Bike/Walk Central Florida, the nonprofit organization that administers the Best Foot Forward program. “We are focusing our enforcement efforts at crosswalks near schools to remind drivers to slow down in school zones and pay attention, not only for our children but also for our crossing guard community. That extra few seconds you take to slow down and pay attention through the school zone could save a life.” 

Operation Best Foot Forward is part of the Best Foot Forward coalition’s larger effort to improve road safety through consistent and persistent education, high-visibility crosswalk enforcement, and low-cost engineering updates. Studies show that driver behavior changes when you combine these enforcement strategies, education, and engineering over a sustained period. 


   Participating Agency 
Select Crosswalks 
Adjacent School 

Orange County Sheriff’s Office 


W. Oak Ridge Rd. & Wingate Dr. 


Westridge Middle 


Apopka Police Department 


Votaw Rd. at Apopka Memorial Middle 


Apopka Memorial Middle 


Oakland P.D. 


E Oakland Ave. at Oakland Avenue Charter School 


Oakland Avenue Charter  


Orlando P.D. 


Millenia Blvd. & Timarron Dr.  


Millennia Gardens Elementary 


Winter Park P.D. 


N. Lakemont Ave. & Yorkshire Dr. 


Lakemont Elementary 


Osceola County Sheriff’s Office 






Kissimmee P.D. 


W Oak St. & Emory Ave. 


Thacker Avenue Elementary 


St. Cloud P.D. 


Budinger Ave. & Peg Horn Way 


St. Cloud Elementary (0.4 mi.) 


Seminole County Sheriff’s Office 


Bear Lake Rd. & McNeil Rd. 


Teague Middle School (0.4 mi.) 


Longwood P.D. 


S.R. 434 & Rangeline Rd. 

For a full list of crosswalk locations and to learn more about Operation Best Foot Forward and  

the Best Foot Forward program, visit iyield4peds.org/OperationBFF. 


The Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety (BFF) program is administered by the local non-profit Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF). BFF was created to reverse the conflict between pedestrians and drivers by focusing on one specific behavior change – getting more drivers to yield for pedestrians at marked crosswalks as Florida law requires. More than a campaign, Best Foot Forward is a behavior change-based program designed to improve road safety through consistent and persistent education, high-visibility crosswalk enforcement, and low-cost engineering countermeasures at marked crosswalks. 

Best Foot Forward operates in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties and is the largest pedestrian-focused grassroots coalition in the nation, working with more than 35 local and regional partners. Since launching in 2012, the percentage of drivers yielding to people in marked crosswalks has increased from 17% to more than 52% on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph and lower and 2% to 43% on roads 40 mph and higher. To learn more, visit iyield4peds.org. 


BWCF is a 501(c)(3) formed in 2010, with a mission to make communities more walkable, bikeable, and rollable. Focusing on advocacy, education, and policy changes, BWCF is working to normalize walking and biking, striving towards a connected active-transportation network that is safe, equitable, and accessible encouraging people of all ages and abilities to bike and walk more in their community!  

BWCF’s efforts span several programs and projects to support its vision to transform Central Florida into a premiere biking and walking community. They:  

  • Facilitate the Healthy West Orange Trails Connection, formed by the Foundation for a Healthier West Orange, accelerating the implementation of projects that support walking, cycling, and wellness activities.  

  • Coordinate the annual BIKE 5 event promoting safe bicycling routes and enhanced multi-use trails throughout Central Florida.   

  • Administer the Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety program, the largest grassroots coalition in the country, reducing serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities.   

To learn more, go to BikeWalkCentralFlorida.org. 

Best Foot Forward, Apopka Police Department, Apopka Memorial Middle School, Crosswalks


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  • MamaMia

    Two places that I almost got killed walking was standing in front of the funeral home by the Apopka Post Office, at the red light, waiting for the walk light to indicate go, and

    I started across Park Ave., then a big commercial truck was turning off of Martin St. going toward Rock Springs, north, and as I was out there in his path, in the middle of the road, he didn't yield, but instead gunned the gas, and I jumped back. Then a small low car, was right behind the big truck, that I couldn't see for the high truck, and the car was in a hurry too, and I almost got hit by the car too, but again, jumped back. I had the walk sign to go, but that is what happened. I walked on home, but was trembling, and shaking, I was so upset, as I almost got killed. Another day, an old guy almost ran me over crossing Sandpiper St. along the West Orange Trail. It's dangerous out there. I walked a long time around Apopka, to lose weight, and for my diabetes, but I decided it is not worth it to me, after almost getting ran over. My feet are a problem for me too, now days....lots of agony, all the time with these feet.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    The cops might want to add these locations to their enforcement zones. I am wide awake, and it is only 4: 38 am. I was looking at the internet wondering, about of all people, Richard Simmons, and wondering what is he up to, where has he been, is he still alive? Richard has become a recluse, stays home most of the time, and is very happy out of the public eye. He had to get a knee replacement, and it was very bad for him, and very traumatic, and he has suffered a long time, with his knee replacement, and the surgery, and his doctors told him he needed another knee replacement, for his other knee, and he told them, no way was he going through another one! I also read that Richard was born without a full set of bones in his feet. I can only imagine the problems that could cause a person. My foot doctor, among all the various problems I have, told me that my muscles are wasting away in my feet. I asked him, why do you say that, and he told me look at the back of my heels, and put your fingers on both sides of your back heels, now do you see that hollowed out, indented area at the ankles? That is muscle wasting away. He then told me, use it, or lose it. I thought to myself, you can't be serious, I've got these foot problems now, from using my feet too much! I thought it was just a skinny area, probably the only skinny area on me.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    The traffic is really getting worse and worse here in Apopka. Way worse than just several years ago. Again, so dangerous to be out there walking, biking, or even for a quick trip driving for food, or to get gas in the morning rush hour, or when people are headed home from their jobs. All these thousands of more homes and apartment units coming here! Well, I was searching for some info about the Apopka annexation plans, and somewhere I read that the city has some info about it on one of their websites, but I never found it. I did find something else, that clearly shows the reason all these people are moving to Apopka, and are seeking jobs here. Do this, and see it for yourself ....google this....City of Apopka FL. Salaries at salaries.com and also check out City of Apopka FL. Hourly Salaries at Salaries.com. Maybe this is causing the building boom....LOL! Let me know, if you find it, or don't find it, and what you think. For that kind of dough, I could give up retirement!

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    Another Apopka City Council meeting coming up tomorrow. It would be so nice if just one day, there would be no discord among the council members. The public is going to spout whatever they want, and they are entitled to say whatever they want, for four minutes. I am referring to the council members. Look up what the bible says about discord ...yeah google it. You all, take a hint......

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    My last comment before I get up this morning. Maybe we shouldn't worry at all about anything. I see military experts say we will be at war with China in 2025, and on Jan. 24th, 2023, a few days ago, the doomsday clock ticked over to 90 seconds to midnight, the big doomsday time a nuclear war is likely to occur, and that will be all she wrote folks.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Report this