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Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Education

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Watch for Me NC and the Distracted Driving Campaign

Watch for Me NC--Bikers and Pedestrians Chapel Hill values a pedestrian and cyclist friendly community. The Town’s active population and the high number of young drivers and new residents every year present challenges to road safety. We all share the responsibility to keep roads safe. Help Chapel Hill stay a safe place to walk, cycle and drive.

Safety Tips
Distracted Driving
Our Partners

Safety Tips


  • Be Bright at night 
  • Walk Facing Traffic 
  • Pull the plug on electronics and pay attention 
  • Cross safely when exiting the bus 
  • Watch for turning cars 
  • Be careful in parking lots and intersections


  • Be Bright at Night and avoid night riding 
  • Go with the flow. Ride with traffic. 
  • Obey Traffic Signals & Signs 
  • Look Before Entering Traffic & Changing Lanes 
  • Use Hand Signals 
  • Wear a Helmet 
  • Learn the Rules of the Road. Obey traffic laws.


  • One text or call could wreck it all. Avoid distractions. 
  • Give pedestrians a break. Drive slowly when approaching crosswalks. 
  • Slow down at night or during bad weather. 
  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, even if it is not marked. Stop well back so that drivers in other lanes also see the pedestrian in time to stop. 
  • Do not pass vehicles stopped for pedestrians. 
  • Be aware around schools and neighborhoods with children. 
  • Be especially attentive when turning, pedestrians or cyclists may enter the crosswalk while you wait to turn. 
  • Share the road with cyclists. 

Distracted Driving Campaign

The Town of Chapel Hill kicked off the Distracted Driving Campaign on February 15, 2012, with the DriveSquare driving simulator special event. Participants tested their driving capabilities while talking on cell phones and texting—an exercise in the dangers of distracted driving. The event was held on UNC’s campus and organized by the Chapel Hill Police Department and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety. It was sponsored by the Chapel Hill Police Department, Performance AutoMall, UNC Health Care and AAA Carolinas.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is any action or activity that could divert a driver’s attention away from the principal task of driving. Distractions place everyone at risk! Drivers, passengers and pedestrians are all endangered when people allow themselves to be distracted while driving. ARE YOU A DISTRACTED DRIVER? Some examples of distracted driving include:

  • Texting 
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Eating 
  • Grooming 
  • Reading, including maps 
  • Using a GPS navigation system 
  • Adjusting the radio



“I just wanted to express a quick thanks to the officers who were at the pedestrian crosswalk at 725 MLK this morning. There are so many dangerous drivers who speed around the cars that stop for us, it was really nice to see officers chase down the one I had to sprint to avoid. It looks like they were there investigating another such incident, so it was probably luck, but I was still very glad to see them there. Maybe increased police presence will encourage the aggressive drivers to exercise a little more caution.” – Halle Amick

"I'm glad we are changing the pedestrian lights to only flash when a pedestrian is crossing. Pedestrians should also remember that they are difficult to see at night (particularly if raining). Cars in interior lanes can often block the view of those in the outer lanes. The problem is further complicated if there are cars traveling in the opposite direction with headlights, which further blinds drivers to things occurring in front of them." -Rob Reece

"I drive my bicycle each night to get home from work as do most motorists and pedestrians. The dangers of cycling at night come from the fact that many ride through town after dark without a headlight, as they are required by NC state law. Bicycles are considered vehicles, according to NC state law, and have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Cyclists must use a headlight from sunset to sunrise. A flashing tail light is recommended as well but not required by law. Wear bright or reflective clothing. Also,wearing head phones in both ears--as many bicyclists are seen doing--is not against the law, but is considered an unsafe practice." -Lee Tobin


NC Department of Transportation
Chapel Hill Police Department
UNC Department of Public Safety
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Town of Carrboro
Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau
Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board
Go Chapel Hill!
UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Public Outreach & Education Events

  • Crosswalk Enforcement Outreach to Drivers 
  • Crosswalk Enforcement Outreach to Pedestrians and Cyclists 
  • Alcohol Checkpoints 
  • Seatbelt Enforcement 
  • Bicycle Safety Demonstrations 
  • Classroom Presentations (to Driver’s Education and other classes) 
  • Driving Simulator (Texting while Driving) 
  • Mock Crashes 
  • DUI Simulator Golf Carts for high school students 
  • Multi-media School Assembly Presentations
  • Festivals and Special Events Outreach

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