Crosswalk crackdown promotes safety in Orange County school zones

Operation Best Foot Forward teams up with deputies

Deputies were out ticketing drivers who weren't practicing proper pedestrian safety this morning.

ORLANDO, Fla. – With classes already in session, thousands of students in Central Florida either walk or bike to school, which is why Operation Best Foot Forward teamed up with law enforcement to remind drivers of the rules when it comes to school zones.

“Drivers need to be aware that every time they get behind the vehicle, they are not the only people on the road and when they see a person in a marked crosswalk, they are required by law to stop for them. If they don’t, it is a citation of a minimum of $164,” said Shelby Villatoro, of Best Foot Froward.

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Deputies on Tuesday stopped drivers for either speeding or not stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk on Lake Underhill Road.

At one point, deputies helped several students cross the road near Discovery Middle School.

“People really need to be paying attention, especially in school zones where children are, because those are the most vulnerable pedestrians. They may be a little more unpredictable and we need to help them by being the adults and the drivers that are responsible,” Villatoro said.

According to an AAA back-to-school survey, 38% of Florida drivers admitted to speeding in an active school zone and 32% admitted to using their cellphones behind the wheel.

“When you see someone else, just be respectful, let them safely get where they need to go. Everyone just needs to arrive safely,” Villatoro said.

Villatoro said Operation Best Foot Forward’s crosswalk crackdown will continue Wednesday in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!