Raleigh - The N.C. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications from communities interested in participating in the Watch for Me NC 2016 program.
Watch for Me NC is a nationally recognized bicycle and pedestrian safety, education, and enforcement program. It uses a comprehensive and data-driven approach to increase public awareness and expand local capacity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The program is led by participating community coalitions, 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 2012-2013 pilot program in the Triangle region. The 2016 campaign is supported by the NCDOT Governor's Highway Safety Program in partnership with the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.
The program is seeking new communities in North Carolina looking to help address pedestrian and bicycle safety. Interested communities can learn more about the program or download an application on the Watch for Me NC website. Applications are due Feb. 23, 2016.
Communities selected to participate will receive free law enforcement training, technical assistance and safety materials to support their local efforts. Safety materials include bicycle lights, reflective arm bands, bumper stickers, brochures, posters and banners that have pedestrian and bicycle safety messages. English and Spanish materials are available. Each community will also be eligible to receive advertising such as billboards, transit ads and public service announcements paid for by NCDOT. Applicants must demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies such as local government and campus police and the capacity to participate fully in the program.
NCDOT will host a webinar for prospective applicants at 3 p.m. on Jan. 19 to better inform communities about the program, its requirements and the application process. Registration is available online. The webinar will also be recorded and posted to the Watch for Me NC website. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to view the webinar.
Past Watch for Me NC participants are encouraged to continue their involvement in 2016. Those communities must submit an abbreviated application showing their commitment to meeting the program's full intent.
"Watch for Me NC is a unique resource for communities interested in making measurable improvements to pedestrian and bicycle safety," said Lauren Blackburn, director of the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. "The combination of law enforcement, strategic public education, and material and technical support provided to local stakeholders all contribute to its success."