~ According to a recent study conducted by the City's SGF Yields pedestrian safety program, driver compliance at crosswalks in Springfield has decreased to 49% in the first quarter of 2024. This is a decrease from 51% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and a four percentage point decrease compared to the same time last year.

The study, which was conducted at six different crosswalk locations, found that only half of drivers are giving pedestrians the right-of-way when they are waiting three feet from a crosswalk. This is concerning as nearly half of all pedestrian-involved crashes occur in crosswalks. Mandy Buettgen-Quinn, a Traffic Safety Professional, explains that while Springfield has made progress in crosswalk safety, there is still room for improvement.

"We want pedestrians to stop crossing at random locations, we need to make sure our crosswalks are safe and respected," says Buettgen-Quinn. "That is why we are excited to bring back crosswalk enforcement in partnership with the Springfield Police Department."

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Funded by a $21,120 grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Springfield Police Department will be conducting weekly driver Yield Checks at well-marked crosswalk locations. The goal of this exercise is to increase driver compliance through education-focused high-visibility enforcement.

Starting on April 17th, decoy officers will be stationed at designated crosswalk locations for approximately four hours each week. One officer will act as a decoy pedestrian while another will serve as a spotter. A third officer will be in a patrol car ready to stop drivers who do not properly yield to pedestrians. Signs will be posted ahead of these locations to alert drivers and warnings will be given out for the first four weeks. After that, citations may be issued for blatant violations.

"Unfortunately, some people will not change their ways unless it hits their pocket books," says Buettgen-Quinn.

The public will be notified of upcoming Crosswalk Yield Check locations in advance through news releases and social media. Results of the exercise will also be reported to the public.

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These Crosswalk Yield Checks are determined by Springfield Public Works and the Springfield Police Department with input from citizens through the SGF Yields Citizen Action Group. The goal is to make Springfield a more pedestrian-friendly community.

Since 2017, quarterly crosswalk assessments have been conducted by Springfield Public Works Traffic Operations division. These assessments evaluate driver compliance at six crosswalk sites with similar traffic speeds and characteristics. Two locations are studied each quarter as a control group, while the remaining sites are selected from each of the four City Council zones. The results from each location are averaged to produce a snapshot of driver compliance across the city.

In 2017, only 25% of drivers were yielding at crosswalks in Springfield. However, efforts in public education, crosswalk improvements, amendments to local regulations, and crosswalk enforcement have made an impact on local driving habits. Some of these improvements include pedestrian refuge medians, raised crosswalks, and installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at multiple crosswalks.

To learn more about SGF Yields' crosswalk compliance assessments, visit

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