This is a guest post from the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Many people bike and walk in the Wilmington area, whether for transportation, recreation, or other purposes. Our coastal community and its multitude of trails and greenways in Wilmington, including the Cross-City Trail, make it easy and fun to get around by walking or rolling.
With more development and more people moving to North Carolina, it’s important to remember there are more people sharing the road than ever. Each year in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties, there are 90 vehicle-pedestrian crashes on average and 59 vehicle-bicycle crashes. To reduce crashes, we all need to be watching out for each other.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. That’s why the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) developed the Be A Looker campaign.
Be A Looker is an educational outreach campaign which offers tips for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on how to keep those who bike and walk safe on our roads. For this campaign, the WMPO also received 100 children’s bicycle helmets from an NCDOT grant, and has been distributing them this summer to children in need of helmets at events across the lower Cape Fear region.
Let’s do our part to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safe!
Drivers: this means, put down the phone – don’t drive distracted. Be sure to give 4 feet of passing distance to bicyclists, even if that means changing lanes or crossing a double yellow line when it’s safe to do so. Obey the speed limits, and look right before you turn right for anyone coming up the sidewalk, crosswalk, or trail.
Bicyclists, you can stay safe by wearing a helmet and using lights on your bike to stay visible! Don’t bike with headphones, be aware of your surroundings. And since, according to North Carolina state law, bicycles are considered vehicles – follow the rules of the road. This means riding on the right side of the road with traffic (it’s easier for vehicles to pass someone traveling in the same direction), stopping at stop signs and red lights, and yielding to pedestrians.
Pedestrians, whether you walk or roll, stay safe by crossing in expected locations, such as crosswalks and at intersections. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure you see each other. Make yourself visible – this means wearing bright clothing and having a light at night, and walking or crossing in places where the view is not obstructed by parked cars or buildings.
Read more information and take the pledge to Be A Looker at gocoastnc.org/bealooker. Thanks for doing your part to improve road safety for everyone!