FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program is entering the next phase of the Crosswalk Yield Check program. Beginning on Wednesday, June 30, the Springfield Police Department will begin issuing citations for blatant driver and pedestrian crosswalk violations during weekly Yield Check events.
Funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Crosswalk Yield Checks have been conducted at well-marked crosswalk locations throughout Springfield since March. The goal of the exercise is to further increase the driver yielding rate at crosswalks, making Springfield more pedestrian friendly.
Yield Checks have been conducted so far at nine locations throughout Springfield, resulting in an average driver yield rate of 46%. On average, officers pull over and issue educational warnings to about 20 drivers per event.
“So far, Yield Checks have been a great way to educate about the severity of this issue in Springfield,” explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “If drivers don’t pay attention and they don’t yield to pedestrians, it puts people on foot in danger. As we transition from warnings to citations, we are emphasizing that crosswalk laws are a matter of life safety.”
The June 30 Yield Check event will be conducted at the intersection of Sunset Street and Grant Avenue.
How Crosswalk Yield Checks Work
Three police officers 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 are provided a warning and educational materials. Beginning June 30, 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 is notified of upcoming Crosswalk Yield Check locations in advance via news release and social media. Results of the exercise are 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, or email [email protected].
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].