Failure to yield to pedestrian is a moving violation in Florida. section 316.130. A recent article in the Gainesville Sun detailed the Pedestrian High Visibility Enforcement program conducted by the Gainesville Police Department.
Essentially two plain clothes police officers acting in 5 to 10 minute intervals step onto the crosswalk. If the driver fails to yield then an officer ahead is radioed and told which vehicle to stop. The officer will direct the driver to a staging area where the driver will be cited for violation of failure to yield to pedestrians. According to the article, Gainesville Police will conduct several more enforcement programs or stings (my word) near area schools. Given that I just blogged about a similar “education” operation regarding the Move Over Law, I guess we can expect more of these actions from our government.
I am sure that eventually arrests will be made from stops generated by this enforcement program. Many traffic stops generate arrests for drugs, marijuana cocaine, driving while under the influence or DUI, suspended licenses etc. In other words, this is a way for the police to not only “educate” the public but to arrest people for drugs, license issues or DUI. The City of Gainesville also receives 50.8% of the total amount collected minus $2.00. Florida Statutes section 318.21.
To require a driver to yield, the law requires that the pedestrian be in the same half of the roadway as the vehicle or so close so as to be in danger. The law also specifically states that “[n]o pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” The last time Gainesville, or Gainesville Police, conducted a similar enforcement program several people called my office claiming the officers were suddenly leaving the curb making it impossible to yield. If you cannot come to court to testify the rules allow you to submit an affidavit. The burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt is still on the government.
If you or a loved one has been caught up in this or any other enforcement program or arrested from a traffic stop and want to hire an attorney then please click or call today.