News Releases

2/5/2014: NCDOT Expands Watch for Me NC Safety Campaign

NCDOT Expands Watch for Me NC Safety Campaign

Posted 2/5/2014 4:21:39 PM

RALEIGH – Beginning in March 2014, the N.C. Department of Transportation will accept applications from communities interested in participating in the 2014 statewide Watch for Me NC campaign, a comprehensive education and enforcement program aimed at reducing the number of pedestrians and bicyclists hit and injured in crashes with vehicles.   In order to apply for this opportunity, communities must attend a webinar. There will be two opportunities to attend – Wednesday, Feb. 12 or Thursday, Feb. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. Register for the webinar online.     The webinar will include information on the program and application process, as well as opportunities to ask NCDOT staff questions about Watch for Me NC.   Campaign partners are eligible to receive law enforcement training and educational materials to encourage safer bicycling and walking.   Agencies eligible to apply for the program include local governments, colleges, and universities with police departments involved in traffic safety operations. Non-profits, advocacy groups and citizen groups are not eligible to apply on their own, but are encouraged to provide support to an eligible agency.   Applications will be made available online Feb. 12, and will be accepted until April 17. Successful applicants will be notified in May 2014, and will begin to work with NCDOT on the Watch for Me NC campaign.   For more information, contact Helen Chaney, NCDOT Transportation Planner in the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, at hmchaney@ncdot.gov.   ***NCDOT***
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11/27/2013: NCDOT Offers Holiday Shopping Safety Tips from Watch for Me NC Campaign

NCDOT Offers Holiday Shopping Safety Tips from Watch for Me NC Campaign

Posted 11/27/2013 3:05:48 PM

RALEIGH – The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here, which will make for packed parking lots at stores across the state. The N.C. Department of Transportation encourages those navigating the crowds this holiday season to use extra caution when cruising around and backing in and out parking spaces, since one out of three pedestrian crashes occur in parking lots.     Through its Watch for Me NC campaign, NCDOT offers drivers and pedestrians these safety tips to ensure a safe and joyous holiday season:   For motorists: Before backing out, be sure to look in all directions for pedestrians. Drive slowly through parking lots as pedestrians and children can dart out from between cars. Be sure you have clear sight lines out of your cars and that no packages are blocking your view. Put away your cell phone and stay focused on driving safely. Never assume pedestrians can see you. For pedestrians: Put away your cell phone and take out any headphones to make sure you are not distracted. Keep an eye out for cars pulling out of parking spaces. Brake lights are a good sign a car is about to back up. Be sure to look both ways before stepping in to the parking lot for cars. Do not run or dart out in to the parking lot.   ***NCDOT***
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10/30/2013: NCDOT Offers Halloween Safety Tips From Watch for Me NC Campaign

NCDOT Offers Halloween Safety Tips From Watch for Me NC Campaign

Posted 10/30/2013 10:23:57 AM

    RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.   More than 2,200 people are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and more than a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.   With thousands of children expected to be parading the streets on Oct. 31, the Watch for Me NC campaign is offering these safety tips to help make this year’s Halloween safer and more enjoyable:   For Parents Before children start out on their trick-or-treat rounds, parents should:   ·         Plan and discuss a safe route trick-or-treaters intend to follow and establish a return time. ·         Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along the established route. ·         Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12. ·         Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. ·         Let children know that they should stay together as a group if going out to trick-or-treat without an adult. ·         Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.     For Trick-Or-Treaters To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, trick-or-treaters should:   ·         Stay in familiar neighborhoods along the established route and stop only at familiar houses unless accompanied by an adult. ·         Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. ·         Cross streets at crosswalks when available. Look both ways before crossing streets and cross when the lights tell you to cross, after you check for cars in all directions. ·         Carry a flashlight, wear clothing with reflective markings or tape, and stay in well-lit areas. Wear a watch you can read in the dark. ·         Don't cut across yards or driveways.   For Motorists Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and should:   ·         Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected. ·         Watch for children darting out from between parked cars. ·         Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. ·         Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully. ·         At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.   About Watch for Me NC The Watch for Me NC campaign is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of pedestrian safety laws. The campaign, which is being coordinated by a group of partners, including the North Carolina Department of Transportation, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU, area universities, and planning, engineering, transportation, and police departments in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, consists of pedestrian and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce pedestrian laws.   ***NCDOT***
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9/20/2013: NCDOT Looks to Help Communities Improve Walking and Bicycling - Department accepting proposals for 2014 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants

NCDOT Looks to Help Communities Improve Walking and Bicycling - Department accepting proposals for 2014 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants

Posted 9/20/2013 10:41:10 AM

RALEIGH – Are you a community that wants to improve walking and bicycling? The N.C. Department of Transportation is here to help. The department is now accepting proposals for its 2014 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative, which provides funding for municipalities across the state to develop comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plans. Smaller communities with populations of less than 5,000 can apply to develop combined bicycle and pedestrian plans.    The deadline for application submittal is Thursday, Dec. 19, at 5 p.m. Award recipients will be notified in June 2014. “Plans like these help communities lay the groundwork for future projects that enhance biking and walking options, which in turn can have positive impacts on the economy, health and safety of the local population,” said Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Director Lauren Blackburn. Rather than being focused upon a specific project, the plans represent a comprehensive strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given municipality. Plans address facilities, programs, services and regulations that encourage safe walking and bicycling. Proposals will be judged in geographical groups to ensure an equal distribution of funding across the state. The final selection will incorporate a diverse mix of large cities to small towns. Since 2004, approximately $3.8 million has been awarded to 143 communities across the state through the planning grant program. The program is sponsored by NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and the Transportation Planning Branch.   For more information on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative, contact Helen Chaney at (919) 707-2608 or hmchaney@ncdot.gov. ***NCDOT***
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8/28/2013: NCDOT Offers New Curriculum to Teach Kids About Walking and Biking Safety

NCDOT Offers New Curriculum to Teach Kids About Walking and Biking Safety

Posted 8/28/2013 3:29:27 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is offering a new, free way to educate children on the basics of walking and bicycling safety.    The Let’s Go NC! curriculum consists of lesson plans, materials, and supplemental tools that anyone can use to teach elementary-aged children grades K-5 about the basics of walking and biking. The curriculum is intended for use by schools, clubs, after school programs, law enforcement and other groups.   "We applaud the NCDOT for creating valuable lessons about bike and pedestrian safety to share with North Carolina’s elementary school students,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “It is never too early to start teaching students how to make smart, safe and healthy decisions every day.”   “Let’s Go NC! exemplifies our department’s focus on safety, education and alternative transportation while providing a fun and beneficial experience for children,” said Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director Lauren Blackburn. “The lessons enhance kids’ understanding of traffic safety, encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, and build independence and self-esteem.”   The curriculum is divided into two primary lesson sets: Let’s Go Walking and Let’s Go Biking. Each lesson set has three distinct teaching levels divided by grade – K-1st, 2nd and 3rd, and 4th and 5th. It features hands-on learning and skill-building activities, as well as math, reading, social studies, science, art and music.   All curriculum materials, including lesson plans, lesson videos and guidance materials for instructors are easily accessible online.   Learn more about the curriculum here.   ***NCDOT***
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