This is the crosswalk to properly navigate four lanes of traffic on National Avenue, just north of Grand Street, adjacent to the campus of Missouri State University. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

The City of Springfield’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program returns on March 24 to ensure drivers are being mindful of crosswalks. Starting on Friday, March 24, if an officer sees a driver fail to yield, you may get pulled over. The intersection of Golden Avenue and Mount Vernon Street is where the first Yield Check of the year will be conducted. 

With pedestrian-related deaths still occurring in Springfield, the plan for the program is to increase rates of yielding at crosswalks, ensuring the community is more pedestrian-friendly. Funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the grant provides overtime pay for three police officers to enforce hazardous moving violations. 

Officers will cover one four-hour Yield Check shift per week. Three officers will station themselves at designated crosswalk locations, monitoring driver compliance. One officer acts as a decoy pedestrian, a second functions as a spotter, and the third will be waiting in a patrol car to issue safety literature to drivers who fail to yield. Officers also may address any pedestrians who do not follow regulations and put themselves or others at risk.

The public can expect updates on when Crosswalk Yield Check locations are being conducted through social media pages and news releases. The results of the exercise will also be made available to the public. 

In a press release issued by the City, Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buttgen-Quinn strongly believes in the importance of Yield Checks as it gives the community a friendly reminder to obey the rules.

“Our goal is education through enforcement. For about the first month of Yield Check activities, officers will provide a warning and education materials. After that, they may begin issuing citations as necessary,” said Buettgen-Quinn. 

Data received from quarterly crosswalk compliance assessments shows Springfield drivers currently yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk roughly 54 percent of the time. National studies show that educational enforcement activities such as Yield Checks can result in 70 percent or more increase in drivers yielding at crosswalks. 

Get more details on Crosswalk Yield Checks on the city’s SGF Yields website.

Dylan Durrington

Dylan Durrington

Dylan True Durrington is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He’s currently a senior at Missouri State University studying Journalism and Mass Media. Durrington is interested in voice over, music, computers and broadcasting. More by Dylan Durrington