News Releases

9/21/2017: Bicycle Safety Awareness Being Highlighted During Ride Event

Bicycle Safety Awareness Being Highlighted During Ride Event

Posted 9/21/2017 9:08:35 AM

RALEIGH – Bicycling clubs, teams, advocates, organizations and officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation will meet for a second year on Sunday, Sept. 24 to raise awareness of bicycle safety during the Capital Area Ride for Safety (CARS). The event was started in 2016 after a motorist struck and seriously injured four local cyclists in a traffic crash.  Attendees and speakers will try to raise awareness of motorist and cyclist interactions with a vital message: when passing a cyclist, motorists should slow down, look and wait for other traffic, then change lanes to pass. “Unfortunately this year, there have been numerous crashes and close calls between motorists and cyclists,” said Julie White, NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation. “One incident is too many, and it’s our hope that events like these will encourage motorists to treat cyclists as drivers on the road by slowing down and passing with plenty of room. We want everyone to make it home to their loved ones.” The ride (a 28-mile loop or 14-mile one-way option) will start at 9 a.m. at Wakefield Commons in Raleigh. There will be a stop halfway at 10 a.m. at Halifax Mall for refreshments, socializing and to hear from several speakers. There is also an alternate 5-mile, urban ride loop that will leave from Lynnwood Brewery at 9:45 a.m. Event speakers include NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Julie White, City Councilman Bonner Gaylord, Paul Neville with the Raleigh BikePed Committee, BikeLaw attorney Ann Groninger and Lisa Riegel with BikeWalkNC.  To learn more about the event or view the schedule and route, visit https://www.carsride.org/.
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9/19/2017: NCDOT’s Watch for Me Safety Initiative Receives Peter K. O’Rourke Achievement Award

NCDOT’s Watch for Me Safety Initiative Receives Peter K. O’Rourke Achievement Award

Posted 9/19/2017 9:06:44 AM

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Watch for Me program today was awarded the Governor’s Highway Safety Association’s Peter O’Rourke Special Achievement Award. The award is in recognition of the program’s efforts to educate the public about bicycle and pedestrian safety, while also training law enforcement officers to apply existing laws. The Watch for Me NC program, which began in 2012, directs safety and educational messages toward drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, along with enforcement efforts by area police to crack down on violations of traffic safety laws. As part of the effort, communities that apply and are invited to become partners receive additional support and training from NCDOT. Communities also receive technical assistance, materials and paid advertising to help raise public awareness about important pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. “We’re honored that Watch for Me NC’s safety and awareness efforts are being recognized,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell. “This program has turned training, enforcement and education into real-life results that are keeping pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers safe across our state.” The program reached its highest level of participation to date in 2017 with 32 community programs encompassing more than 140 individual agencies or departments. A preliminary analysis of crash trends in the Watch for Me NC pilot region (Orange, Durham, and Wake counties) showed a five percent reduction in the average pedestrian and bicycle crash rate in the after the pilot (2012-2014) compared to before (2009 to 2011). The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award recognizes notable achievements in the field of highway safety by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, media, government agencies, universities or programs. It is named for Peter K. O'Rourke, who was instrumental in the passage of several important pieces of safety legislation in California before being elected GHSA chairman. The UNC Highway Safety Research Center provides technical support with campaign implementation and evaluation. To learn what communities have done to improve safety, visit: www.watchformenc.org/about/partner-community-profiles.
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Interim Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director and Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator Ed Johnson accepts the Peter O'Rourke Award. Photo credit: Governor''s Highway Safety Association ***NCDOT***
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10/28/2016: Watch for Me NC Offers Tips for Halloween Safety

Watch for Me NC Offers Tips for Halloween Safety

Posted 10/28/2016 1:52:48 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween. More than 2,200 pedestrians 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 program offers these tips to help make Halloween safer and more enjoyable: For Parents Before children begin 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. The mission of Watch for Me NC aligns with Governor Pat McCrory’s NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate all traffic-related injuries and fatalities through coordinated efforts with public and private partners in traffic safety. Thousands of North Carolinians have taken the pledge to practice safe driving habits. Join them and find out more at NCVisionZero.org. The Watch for Me NC program is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of safety laws. The program, which is being coordinated by a group of partners, including the N.C. Department of Transportation, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and many local communities, consists of pedestrian, bicycle and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce relevant laws. To learn more about the program, visit watchformenc.org. ***NCDOT***  
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10/31/2012: NCDOT Offers Halloween Safety Tips From Watch for Me NC Campaign

NCDOT Offers Halloween Safety Tips From Watch for Me NC Campaign

Posted 10/31/2012 3:49:04 PM

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian 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 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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10/11/2012: Fall Season Brings Increased Risk of Crashes Between Vehicles, Pedestrians

Fall Season Brings Increased Risk of Crashes Between Vehicles, Pedestrians

Posted 10/11/2012 3:50:33 PM

RALEIGH — The fall season in North Carolina brings cooler weather, shorter days – and a higher risk of accidents between pedestrians and vehicles than at any other time of year. In the month of October alone, an average of 240 people are struck by cars across the state annually. Click here to view detailed crash information by county. With days growing shorter and the school year in full swing, now is a critical time to be vigilant and do your part as a pedestrian or a motorist to prevent accidents from happening. Here are tips to be safe from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Watch for Me NC pedestrian safety campaign. Motorists: Watch for people crossing the street near bus stops and school buses. More than half of all pedestrian-vehicle crashes in the Triangle occur near bus stops or on roads with bus routes. Watch for people walking at night. Watch for people when you are making a turn. Pay attention in parking lots – check your rearview mirror to make sure no one is walking behind you. Yield to people in crosswalks. Pedestrians: Cross the street safely on your way to or from the bus stop. At night, wear light clothing and reflective gear and carry a flashlight if possible. Watch for drivers who are turning, even if you have the walk signal - they may not see you. Pay attention in parking lots – look for brake lights to indicate a driver is backing up. Be predictable – cross at the nearest crosswalk or intersection. To learn more about pedestrian safety, visit the Watch for Me NC campaign website.   ***NCDOT***
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