Asheville’s Watch for Me campaign focuses on pedestrian safety by educating both pedestrians and motorists. On Aug. 12, Asheville Police officers conducted a Watch for Me special operation focusing on vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. The operation focused on the area between College Street and Patton Avenue on the West side of Pritchard Park.
Officers stopped 23 vehicles during the operation for violations observed and issued written warning citations to the drivers.
Some safety and law reminders, when you’re driving:
• Yield to people in crosswalks. (GS 20-173)
• Always look first for pedestrians and bicyclists before turning, backing up and when driving at night.
• Pass bicyclists only when it is safe to do so and be sure to give them plenty of room. (GS 20-149)
• Be prepared for bicyclists to take the whole lane—it’s their right if they need it. (GS 20-148)
Watch for Me campaign
Ensuring the safety of all parties moving around the City is why Asheville has joined the NCDOT’s Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicyclist safety campaign. From August through November, the City is conducting an intensive public education campaign that will be paired with vigorous enforcement of pedestrian safety laws.
In a five-year period from 2008-2012, the City of Asheville had the highest pedestrian accident rate among the largest 10 metro areas in the state, according to an NCDOT report. Our participation in Watch for Me NC is designed to reverse that trend.
The City’s Transportation and Police Departments plan to do that through a public education campaign and targeted law enforcement to educate and reinforce compliance with the laws.