Newton Named a Watch for Me NC Partner
NEWTON, NC (May 4, 2017)—Newton is one of eight communities across North Carolina that will soon benefit from participation in Watch for Me NC, a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety program aimed at reducing bicycle and pedestrian crashes and fatalities.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new community partners and the ideas they share to advance safety for all road users,” said Ed Johnson, acting director of the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. “The Watch for Me NC program continues to grow and serves as a model for other cities and states across the nation.”
The program leverages the strengths of law enforcement and public education to encourage safe and secure places to walk and bike.
“I’m looking forward to working with our officers, schools, and residents to make Newton safer for people walking, biking, and driving on our streets,” Newton Police Chief Don Brown said. “Through targeted public education and police enforcement, I think the Watch for Me NC program will have a positive effect on our community.”
In addition to Newton, the NCDOT selected the following new partners to join 24 remaining communities across the state: Burgaw, Oak Island, Pine Knoll Shores, Elizabeth City, North Wilkesboro, Cornelius, and Elon University.
The program provides training for law enforcement officers on methods for improving safety for road users in their areas. Communities receive technical assistance, materials, and purchased media promotion such as billboards to help raise public awareness about important pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. The UNC Highway Safety Research Center provides technical support with campaign implementation and evaluations.
Newton’s participation in the program will complement the Newton Pedestrian Plan, which the city is currently developing to enhance walking conditions and improve connectivity and safety throughout the city. More information and a draft copy of the Newton Pedestrian Plan are available at www.newtonnc.gov/walk. For more information about Watch for Me NC, visit www.watchformenc.org.