UNCW Participating in Statewide Campaign to Increase Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety

Friday, August 01, 2014

UNCW is participating in Watch For Me NC, a statewide safety campaign initiated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Their goal is to reduce the number of pedestrians and bicyclists hit and injured in crashes with motor vehicles by increasing educational messages and law enforcement efforts.

Last year, 2,400 pedestrians and 960 bicyclists were hit by vehicles in North Carolina, making it one of the least safe states in the US for walking and bicycling. New Hanover County ranks sixth in the state for pedestrian and bicyclist accidents.

In addition to UNCW, New Hanover County, the City of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach are partnering in this initiative.

The campaign kicks off on August 5 at Carolina Beach in association with the Carolina Beach Police Department’s National Night Out. Local law enforcement officers will attend training at Cape Fear Community College.

Focused enforcement events on the UNCW campus will begin in September and last through November. 

“I’m excited for the UNCW community to participate in the same safety initiative occurring throughout New Hanover County and in metropolitan settings across North Carolina," said UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson. "Maintaining safe roadways isn’t only about knowing who has the right of way. It also involves understanding that every user of the roads can contribute to the safety of our roads, and adopting those safe practices.”

The Watch for Me NC program has been in operation in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties since 2012 as part of a pilot effort.