City of Springfield takes next step in Pedestrian Yield program

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 7:18 AM CDT
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Drivers in Springfield are being reminded to slow down and yield when you see someone using a crosswalk. On Wednesday, police officers will be issuing citations to drivers who don’t comply at the intersection of Sunset Street and Grant Avenue.

This is the next phase in the Pedestrian Yield program. Traffic Safety Engineer Mandy Buettgen said three police officers will station themselves at the crosswalk at Sunset and Grant monitoring for driver compliance. One officer will be in plain clothing and will act as a pedestrian, a second will be looking for drivers and a third will be in their patrol car ready to stop those who fail to yield.

Buettgen said a grant will pay the officers salary including overtime.

“Crosswalk compliance is important, because that makes our community safer,”said Buettgen. “It is really important to get drivers to respect crosswalks. At that point we start working at getting pedestrians to use those features now that they’re safer,” said Buettgen.

Drivers will be issued a citation if they are pulled over. The fine starts at $100. Drivers will also receive educational tools about the importance of being cautious at a crosswalk.

”I would like for drivers to know that as a driver you can help keep the pedestrian safe, especially if there’s multiple lanes going in one direction by stopping further back,” said Buettgen. “What that does is that the pedestrian is more likely to see another driver that is passing. Now it is highly illegal to pass by a car that is yielding to pedestrians.”

Yield checks were done at nine different locations throughout Springfield where drivers received a warning. Buettgen said on average officers pulled over twenty vehicles at each event.

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