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Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety Program Kicks Off

The state Department of Transportation has partnered with towns on the coast to kick off its 2020 Watch for Me NC awareness campaign.

Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in Elizabeth City, the Outer Banks, Beaufort, Greenville, New Bern, Pine Knoll Shores, Washington and Wilmington will see an increase in safety information that NCDOT officials say will better educate them on relevant laws and safe behaviors.

The Watch for Me NC program aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths through a comprehensive, targeted approach of public education, community engagement, and high visibility law enforcement, according to NCDOT.

The messaging includes Watch for Me NC inserts with driver, bicyclist and pedestrian safety tips in food delivery bags in both English and Spanish, ride share vehicles will have toppers on their automobiles that share important safety reminders and during ad breaks on Pandora radio, listeners will hear bike and pedestrian safety tips.

Last year, 241 pedestrians and 19 bicyclists were killed on North Carolina roadways.

“It’s great to be partnering with Beaufort, Greenville, New Bern, Pine Knoll Shores and Washington to proactively deliver safety messages to help raise awareness and reduce fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists in our state,” said Heather Hildebrandt, interim director of the department’s Integrated Mobility Division, in a statement. “This media effort is another tool to help educate pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists about how to keep themselves and others safe while on the road.”

Additionally, law enforcement officers will receive special training for enforcing bicycle and pedestrian safety laws as part of the program, which officially launched in 2012 to promote pedestrian safety. There are now 30 participating partner communities across the state.

For more information about the Watch for Me NC program click hereThe UNC Highway Safety Research Center provides technical support with program implementation and evaluation.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.