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Operation Best Foot Forward

Apopka Police Department puts its best foot forward to protect trail users


Trail use soared during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recent counts indicate that the trend in trail popularity continues. As the school year winds down and summer vacations commence, drivers need to be extra cautious and should expect more people biking and walking as residents and visitors lace up their sneakers to enjoy the more than 450 miles of local trails in Central Florida. 

Starting May 10th, Apopka Police Department will join 10 other law enforcement agencies across Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties to enforce Florida’s driver yield laws during the largest crosswalk enforcement in Central Florida history. Drivers who fail to yield or stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks will receive warnings or citations to spotlight the importance of staying alert at all trail crossings.  

The Apopka trail crossing location to be enforced: 

Dubbed Operation Best Foot Forward, these crosswalk enforcement actions are part of a greater, comprehensive effort to educate drivers about Florida’s driver yield laws and curb the pattern of aggressive behavior towards pedestrians. Plainclothes deputies and officers cross the street at marked crosswalks during the operation, giving drivers ample time to yield as Florida law requires. Drivers who fail to comply may be issued a warning or a citation starting at $164 and three points on their license. 

Participating agencies include the Sheriff’s Offices from Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County, as well as the Apopka, Casselberry, Kissimmee, Longwood, Oakland, Orlando, St. Cloud, and Winter Park Police Departments. By increasing awareness of other road users, these law enforcement agencies and the rest of the Best Foot Forward coalition work to improve Central Florida streets for all through enforcement, ongoing evaluations, and the implementation of engineering solutions. 

About the Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety Program 

The Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety program is administered by the local non-profit Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF). Best Foot Forward 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 at marked crosswalks near elementary schools and LYNX bus stops, in urban areas and cross-sections of low and high-speed roads.  

About Bike/Walk Central Florida 

BWCF promotes walkable and bikeable communities through raising public awareness and advocating for safe, active transportation and recreation. BWCF coordinates the Bike5Cities annual bike ride to promote safe bicycling routes and enhanced multi-use trails throughout Central Florida. The organization supports building, expanding, and linking regional trails and completing the Coast-to-Coast Connector trail. In addition, BWCF encourages transportation corridor planning and design by using Complete Streets principles to benefit all transportation users. To learn more, go to bikewalkcentralflorida.org.  


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