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STATE: NCDOT seeks new partners for Watch for Me NC program

North Carolina communities interested in participating in the 2021 Watch for Me NC safety program may now submit applications to the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

The nationally recognized program focuses on reducing bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities through public education, community engagement partnerships with local law enforcement. The 2021 campaign is supported by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division.

“Keeping our state’s bicyclists and pedestrians safe is a community effort,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Watch for Me NC is an invaluable tool ​for engaging communities across North Carolina by educating the public, providing hands-on training to law enforcement and creating valuable partnerships in our chosen counties and towns.”

Communities selected to participate will receive free law enforcement training, technical assistance and safety tools provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. In 2021, all community partners will be eligible to attend virtual training sessions. In addition, communities will receive support that is individually customized, helping them plan outreach, share opportunities and troubleshoot challenges.

Watch for Me NC partners will also receive materials with pedestrian and bicycle safety messages to aid in engagement at public events. Communities may also be eligible to receive advertising such as radio PSAs and vehicle wrapper ads. Applicants should be able to demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies and, if applicable, campus police, plus the capacity to participate fully in the program.

Interested communities are encouraged to register for a webinar at 11 a.m. Jan. 8, 2021 when more information about the program requirements and application process will be provided. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2021, and can be submitted online via the Watch for Me NC website.