Watch for Me NC campaign focuses on bicycle and pedestrian safety; and tips to avoid delays at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route
Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, N.C. Transportation Now, which can be viewed by clicking here.
"Booze It and Lose It: Operation Firecracker" Aims to Get Drunk Drivers off the Roads
For many people, summer means getting together with family and friends, and celebrating the Fourth of July. When the celebration includes alcohol though, it can quickly go from festive to fatal if people choose to drive after drinking.
During "Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker," law enforcement agencies across North Carolina are stepping up efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads, including setting up sobriety checkpoints in all North Carolina counties. In 2015, there were 418 alcohol-related deaths in North Carolina, and there have been 135 to date this year.
The campaign, which runs from June 24 until July 5, also serves to remind drivers that they have options, and drinking and driving is not one of them. There are more ways than ever to get home safely:
App your ride;
Ride the bus;
Call a buddy, or
Take a cab.
Visit BeSmarterThanThat.com for ways to get home safely in your community.
Watch for Me NC Focuses on Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
The Watch for Me NC bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign gets underway across the state June 27. The campaign focuses on reminding drivers to keep an eye out for people in crosswalks and cyclists on the road. North Carolina law requires that motorists yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Communities across the state will be passing out a variety of promotional materials with that message, as well as other important bicycle and pedestrian safety tips.
The transportation department also is promoting the campaign with radio ads, sidewalk stencils and gas pump toppers, reinforcing the campaign's main messages of "Make Room for Bikes," and "Yield to People in Crosswalks." The campaign will last through Sept. 16.
Arrive Early to Avoid Delays at Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry
If your summer plans include a trip to Ocracoke, remember, the early bird gets the worm. Or, in this case, the ferry. The island's popularity sometimes brings long lines at the ferry terminal, especially on the Hatteras side of the route. While the ferry system runs as many boats as possible on this route all summer, during peak travel times, you may have to wait up to three hours before boarding a ferry to Ocracoke.
The good news is you can largely avoid those waits by arriving early. The shortest waits are before 10 a.m., and the longest waits are usually in the early afternoon hours. For the return trip, the Ocracoke side is usually wait-free until 2 p.m., and the peak travel time from Ocracoke is between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Lines are usually minimal after 9 p.m.