"Operation Frogger" Targets Pedestrian Safety - WBAY

"Operation Frogger" Targets Pedestrian Safety

Green Bay - If you're planning to drive in the Green Bay area Wednesday or really anytime this summer, take note.

Green Bay Police are beginning "Operation Frogger."

It's a new, humorous, yet important way of reminding drivers to yield to pedestrians or pay a fine.

The sign flashing the words "frog ahead" next to a computerized picture of a frog from a 1980s video game is sure to grab your attention.

It's not an alert to watch for real frogs.

"I'm hoping they're looking for pedestrians as soon as they see the sign," says Green Bay Police Lt. Karl Ackermann.

The warning for "Operation Frogger" is designed to make drivers think twice about people.

"Obviously it's not what you would call an approved traffic type of control device, but we're trying to drum up attention to an issue here and change the culture of driving in the city," says Ackermann.

The name plays off the 1980s arcade game where frogs try to avoid cars, crossing a busy road, in order to get home.

Ackermann is having a little fun with his pedestrian safety grant, but he's hoping it will grab drivers' attention about a very serious issue.

"Everybody is in that 'me' mindset. 'What's the world going to do for me?' They're on their cell phones. They're changing the radio stations. They're not paying attention to what's going on around them, and you have everything from mothers with small children, you've got younger children that are out on their own," says Ackermann.

A few weeks ago, police tried the first deployment of the summer and shared their video with us.

"In a 2 hour period, we had issued 13 citations and three warnings," he recalls.

Ackermann says those stats, and similar ones from deployments last summer, show drivers are just not getting the idea, so they are done writing warnings.

Each "failure to yield" citation issued comes with a $73.60 fine.

"It takes a little bit of time to cross the street. Your car needs to stop and give them that opportunity, plain and simple," he adds.

Here's the law: police say if you're on the sidewalk, traffic doesn't have to yield to you. If you've stepped into the crosswalk, drivers must yield to you. Police say pedestrians, though, need to step into the crosswalk when there's still enough distance for a car to stop.

We'll have updates on the "Operation Frogger" deployment on Action Two News Wednesday evening.
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