RALEIGH-The N.C. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications from communitiesinterested in participating in the Watch for Me NC campaign. Watch for Me NC is a nationally-recognized bicycle and pedestrian safety, education, and enforcement program. The campaign follows a comprehensive and data-driven approach to increasing public awareness and expanding local law enforcement capacity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The campaign is led by local partners with technical support and safety materials provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. Watch for Me NC expanded into a statewide campaign in 2014 after a successful pilot program in the Triangle region in 2012-2013. The 2015 campaign is supported by the NCDOT Governor's Highway Safety Program.
The campaign, now in its fourth year, is seeking new partner communities in North Carolina as part of an effort to expand statewide. Communities interested in joining the campaign can learn more about the program or can download an application at www.watchformenc.org/about/participate. Applications will be due on March 27, 2015.
Selected partners receive free law enforcement training and safety materials to support their local efforts. Safety materials include bicycle lights, reflective arm bands, bumper stickers and banners. The campaign also educates the public through paid advertising such as billboards and radio public service announcements. Applicants must demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies such as local government and campus police and are encouraged to work with other partners in their region.
NCDOT also is hosting two applicant webinars in February to better inform communities about the campaign and what it requires of partner communities. To register for a webinar (which both cover the same information), go to:
Prior Watch for Me NC partners are encouraged to continue involvement in 2015. Those partners will have to submit an abbreviated application showing their commitment to meeting the full intent of the program and letter(s) of support from respective law enforcement agencies.
"Watch for Me NC is a unique resource for communities interested in making measurable improvements to pedestrian and bicycle safety. The combination of expanded law enforcement, strategic public education, and popular safety items all contribute to its success," says Lauren Blackburn, Director of the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.