NCDOT bike, pedestrian safety program wins national award

Me Photo
Updated Sep 25, 2017
Interim Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director and Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator Ed Johnson accepts the Peter O’Rourke Award. Photo credit: Governor”s Highway Safety AssociationInterim Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director and Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator Ed Johnson accepts the Peter O’Rourke Award. Photo credit: Governor”s Highway Safety Association

A North Carolina Department of Transportation program that appears to be reducing car crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians has received an achievement award from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.

The Watch for Me NC program, which received the national association’s Peter O’Rourke Special Achievement Award, has reduced average crash rates for pedestrians and cyclists by 5 percent, according to a preliminary NCDOT pilot program.

The program began in 2012 to educate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on safety laws. It also encourages local police to crack down on traffic safety violations.

This year, the program achieved its highest rate of participation, with 32 communities involved. The communities receive NCDOT support, training, educational materials and paid advertising to raise public awareness about bike and pedestrian safety.

The O’Rourke award honors organizations and individuals who have helped improve highway safety.