GREENSBORO, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is promoting a road safety campaign for the summer.
It's called "Watch For Me NC."
It's a statewide program aimed toward preventing crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians.
Each year more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina.
That makes North Carolina one of the least safe states in the U.S. for walking and riding a bike.
The Department of Transportation established the "Watch For Me NC" campaign back in 2012.
It provides safety and educational messages for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to stay safe on roadways.
NCDOT partnered with local law enforcement officers across the state to ensure everyone follows the road rules.
The City of Greensboro has been participating in the program since 2014.
Even though the Greensboro Transportation Department acts as the lead agency for the initiative, several partners help and contribute to the success of the campaign.
Some of the campaign partners include UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro Police Department, Greensboro Parks and Recreation, and Safe Kids Guilford County.
You can get involved in the "Watch for Me NC" by simply raising awareness about the importance of sharing the road and practicing road safety.
To learn more about the "Watch For Me NC" program, click here.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation provides the following road safety tips:
Pedestrian Safety Tips:
- Look for cars in all directions – including those turning left or right – before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.
- Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.
- Enhance your visibility at night. Walk in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective, such as stickers or armbands, to be more visible.
- Avoid distraction. More and more we see people texting or talking on cell phones when crossing streets; this diminishes the ability of your two key senses – hearing and seeing – that are used to detect and avoid cars. So particularly when crossing streets, put down the phone for a few seconds.
- Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road; obey signs and signals.
- Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.
- Watch for cars backing up in parking lots; brake lights can mean that a car is about to back up.
- Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.
Bicyclist Safety Tips:
- Wear a helmet. It could save your life.
- Use a light and reflex mirrors or reflective clothing when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.
- Ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.
- Obey all signs and signals. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.
- Use all of your senses – watch and listen for cars, particularly at intersections and drive ways.
- Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones or answering phones when riding.
Motorist Safety Tips:
- Safety is a shared responsibility. Motorists need to be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists, drive at slower speeds, avoid distraction, and know the laws regarding when pedestrians or bicyclists have the right-of-way.
- Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Give a bicyclist at least four feet of space when passing, or you may completely enter the left lane if conditions are safe to do so.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Slow down in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians, such as near bus stops, schools, and playgrounds.
- Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians at night that may be walking near or across the road.
- Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices. Talking and texting while driving is both dangerous and illegal in many places.