Winston-Salem joins Watch for Me NC to help keep bicyclists safe in the city

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — New plans are in the works to make it safer to walk or ride your bike in Winston-Salem.

The city joined a Department of Transportation program for the first time called Watch for Me NC.

The Department of Transportation says North Carolina is one of the most unsafe states for cyclists and pedestrians. Around 15% of all traffic fatalities in the state are related from bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

The Department of Transportation says more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit by a car every year across the state.

“We’ve been doing crash analyses lately, especially related to pedestrian crashes, and we’ve had more than 30 pedestrian fatalities over the last decade. There have been a lot of crashes involving pedestrians,” said Winston-Salem Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Matther Burczyk.

The Watch For Me NC program combines efforts from law enforcement, public education, and long term infrastructure changes like adding bike lanes and sidewalks.

Law enforcement get specialty training to know the best way to enforce traffic laws related to the campaign for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

There are also plans for more public education, and marketing efforts like billboards, advertisements on buses, and more.

“It’s designed to focus on education and enforcement. So education for cyclists and pedestrians so they know their rights and their responsibilities. But also for drivers, so drivers understand the need to share the road with those other forms of transportation,” Burczyk said.

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