Putting It Into Practice: Pedestrian Decoys

Miami, FL

Miami Beach, Florida implemented a successful ‘pedestrian decoy’ operation. Police conducted a two-week driver yielding enforcement program using informational fliers, written and verbal warnings, decoy pedestrians and saturation enforcement operations along two corridors with a high pedestrian crash experience.

The ‘pedestrian decoy’ operation increased the percentage of motorists yielding to pedestrians. These increases were sustained for a period of a year with minimal additional enforcement, according to results from an evaluation of the program (Van Houten & Malenfant, 2003).

Putting It Into Practice: Double Fines for Speeders in School Zones

State of Washington

In 1997, Washington State enacted legislation that doubled the basic fine for drivers speeding in a school zone. This fine can not be waived, suspended or reduced. One-half of the revenue generated is directed into an account managed by the State’s Governor’s Highway Safety Office (the Washington Traffic Safety Commission) that is designed to enhance safety in school zones and pupil transportation. The legislature allows $1.5 million to be spent per biennium, with $1.0 million for law enforcement and $0.5 million for public education. Funds for law enforcement are available to agencies through an application process. These funds can be used to purchase equipment, such as radars, computers, patrol cars or motorcycles that improves safety in school zones or pupil transportation. The public education funds make it possible to produce and disseminate products such as public service announcements, radio and bus ads, and crossing guard equipment. The funds have also been used to provide mini-grants to support International Walk to School Day celebrations around the state and have paid for the creation and distribution of the School Administrator’s Guide to Pedestrian Safety and the School Safety Resource Kit.

Through proactive enforcement, where law enforcement officers are focusing on school zone safety, communities have seen reductions in collisions in school zones. For example, collision rates in school zones have declined by 23 percent in Bremerton, WA, and by 13 percent in Tumwater, WA.

Putting It Into Practice: Traffic Complaint Hotline

Phoenix, AZ

The City of Phoenix, Arizona operates a traffic complain hotline in which a police sergeant monitors all of the complaints and assigns enforcement areas to other motor officers based on calls to complaint center. If the hotline caller leaves his or her name and phone number, an officer returns the call with enforcement results, including when the enforcement was conducted and for how long. Officers also report how many warnings, moving violations and non-moving violations were issued during the enforcement effort. When officers observe a high number of violations, they schedule additional enforcement. The City of Phoenix reports that school traffic concerns account for approximately 80 percent of the traffic complaints and requests for enforcement on the hotline. The hotline created a stronger link between police officials and the community at large as residents saw their complaints were addressed.