Start of School Year Brings Increase in Pedestrian Activity; Students and Motorists Urged to Use Caution, Keep Roads Safe For Everyone Friday, August 24, 2012

RALEIGH — The start of school Monday means an increase in pedestrian activity on and around school campuses in the Triangle. The N.C. Department of Transportation urges students to use caution as they walk to and from campus, and encourages motorists to watch out for students walking.

“Through our Watch for Me NC campaign, we’re placing a major emphasis on pedestrian and motorist safety in the Triangle,” said Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director Lauren Blackburn. “The start of the school year means more people will be walking near school campuses, and there’s no better time to re-iterate the importance of everyone playing a part to keep our roads safe.”  

Each year in the Triangle, about 400 people are struck by cars. Of the people hit, roughly 350 are injured or killed. Don’t become a statistic. Follow some basic rules of safety:

Students

  • Cross in the crosswalk.
  • 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.
  • Pay attention to where you’re walking and take the focus off your cell phone or other electronic device. A moment of distraction could have disastrous consequences.
  • Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road—obey signs and signals.
  • 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.

Motorists

  • Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
  • Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians.
  • Slow down in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians, such as near bus stops, schools and playgrounds. There is a $250 penalty for speeding in a school zone in North Carolina.
  • 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.

Visit the Watch for Me NC campaign website to learn more about what you can do to keep our roads safe for everyone.

***NCDOT***

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