FDOT recognized National Stop on Red Week during the first week of August. In recognition of this important issue, Alert Today Florida and Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition partnered with the National Coalition for Safer Roads to increase driver and pedestrian knowledge about the dangers of running red lights and how awareness can increase safety. Lives are lost every day because drivers recklessly run red lights, and the most vulnerable road users are pedestrians and bicyclists. Highlighting the week’s activities were three key intersection-focused events around the state — literally taking the message “Always Stop on Red” to the streets.
Volunteers from local businesses, staff from nearby public agencies, and local law enforcement officers gathered at high-traffic intersections in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Orlando to talk with and educate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists about the need to stop and move through intersections so that all users are safe. Four “corner teams” with safety instructions and reflective vests managed each intersection. Volunteers talked with drivers about safety and distributed education materials including “Stop on Red” tip cards, “Watch Out for Pedestrians” and “Share the Road” car magnets, and Safe Mobility for Life hand fans. Yard signs were set up along each side of the road so that drivers read: “Always,” “Stop,” “On,” and “Red” as they approached an intersection. Many drivers honked out their support or asked that a magnet be attached to their vehicles. Team members also spoke with people walking by or waiting at a transit stop. As the temperature rose, the Safe Mobility for Life hand fans became very “handy” for both volunteers and pedestrians.
Team leaders with unique experiences motivated and educated at each location. Melissa Wandall and daughter Madisyn, who personally experienced the importance of safe driving to saving lives, led the Orlando team. Local media interviewed Melissa and her daughter about the importance of “Stop on Red” and both did a fantastic job showing their passion for transportation safety and sharing their story for all to learn. Law enforcement officers from around Florida also joined in distributing tip cards and talking to drivers. Local business owners came out to discuss their concerns and express their support of our volunteers. One business committed to putting magnets on several delivery trucks.
The 2015 “Stop on Red” Week was a huge success. The gathering of people wearing Alert Today Florida reflective vests brought out a lot of questions from curious drivers and pedestrians. It provided the perfect opportunity to educate them about the how important it is to stop on red. Jennifer Fierman, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for FDOT District Four headed up the Ft. Lauderdale team.
Our thanks go out to the following and all the other volunteers who participated:
- Scott Lagasse, Jr. and members of Team SLR
- Jacksonville Jaguars Director of Corporate Partnerships, Matt Rickoff
- Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation Program Coordinator, T-Neisha Tate
- Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders Jorah and Kendall
- The city of Jacksonville and Denise Chaplick, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
- Representatives from
- Florida Highway Patrol
- University of North Florida Police Department
- Broward Sheriff’s Office
- Hallandale Beach Police Department
- Best Foot Forward
- The city of Orlando
- National Coalition for Safer Roads
- Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- Winter Garden Police Department
- Federal Highway Administration
- Ocoee Police Department
- American Traffic Solutions