Pedestrians Getting Extra Protection in NC

from the News & Observer, Shawn Rocco

Every year, 2200 people in North Carolina are killed or injured in car-pedestrian collisions…and you can guess which side bears the brunt of the damage. Now, pedestrians are getting a little extra help in the form of Watch for Me NC, a safety education and enforcement campaign.

According to an article in the News & Observer:

This month, police departments across the Triangle are swarming around pedestrian danger zones – on streets with high accident counts, and at crossings where researchers report that four out of five drivers fail to yield for folks on foot, as the law requires. They’re handing out hundreds of safety brochures and, for now, just a few tickets.

The campaign includes using plainclothes officers posing as pedestrians. But that kind of subtlety wasn’t necessary. According to Raleigh police Sgt. J.J. King:

“A couple of our officers went out in full uniform, hats on, the whole nine yards,” King said. “They stepped out into the intersection, and drivers still were not yielding right of way. So it’s definitely something we need to bring attention to.”

And while drivers who ignore pedestrians in marked intersections are the focus of the campaign, officers are also leaving brochures with jaywalkers.
It’s sad that we need an operation like this to call attention to this commonsense safety law. Watch for walkers, NC!
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