NCDOT Celebrates 2015 Watch for Me N.C. Campaign Friday, November 13, 2015

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently celebrated its successful 2015 Watch for Me N.C. campaign with an event at the Durham Farmer’s Market. 
Launched in 2012, Watch for Me N.C. is a joint effort between NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. It is a comprehensive safety campaign, integrating public information and law enforcement efforts to educate the public about the laws designed to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Watch for Me N.C. plays a critical role in protecting everyone on our roadways,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “We want to encourage everyone to see walking and biking as safe and viable ways to travel.” 
Durham Assistant Police Chief Ed Sarvis introduced Secretary Tennyson and welcomed the bicycle and pedestrian advocates, Durham police officers and other members of the community who attended the event. 
The 2015 campaign partnered with local communities and organizations in 15 counties across North Carolina, as well as the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Each year, the campaign distributes safety materials to the public and provides education and safety training to local law enforcement and community groups. This year, 116 officers from 35 agencies attended Watch for Me N.C. law enforcement training sessions.
Walking and bicycling are increasingly popular modes of transportation and recreation. However, roadways built during the 20th century were not designed for pedestrians or cyclists - they typically feature fewer sidewalks and less available lane width for safe use by people walking or riding a bike. Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 168 pedestrians and 19 bicyclists were killed annually in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina. Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities on roadways represent, on average, 12-15 percent of total traffic fatalities in North Carolina. 
“We’ve received a lot of support and positive attention for Watch for Me N.C.,” said Lauren A. Blackburn, director of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Division. “People are glad to see that more is being done to educate the public about bicycle and pedestrian safety.” 
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