CARRBORO, NC — The start of school on Monday, Aug. 29, means an increase in pedestrian and bicycle activity around Carrboro. The Carrboro Police Department urges students to use caution as they walk or bike to and from campus, and encourages motorists to watch out for students walking or biking.
"As we look forward to the start of another school year, please remember to be patient and attentive as you drive, bike, or walk as school buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrians will all be in motion at once," Police Chief Chris Atack said. "Expect traffic delays around schools during drop off and pick up times. Our officers will be out conducting traffic enforcement and working to keep everyone safe.
"I want to thank everyone in advance for doing their part to make the back-to-school transition successful."
Follow some basic rules of safety:
- Cross in the crosswalk.
- Look for cars in all directions—including those turning left or right—before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.
- Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.
- Pay attention to where you’re walking or bicycling and take the focus off your cell phone or other electronic device. A moment of distraction could have disastrous consequences.
- Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road—obey signs and signals.
- Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can. Conversely, when you are on your bike it is best to ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.
- Wear a helmet when riding your bike. It could save your life.
- Use a light and reflectors when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.
- Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Slow down in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians and bicyclists, such as near bus stops, schools and playgrounds. There is a $250 penalty for speeding in a school zone in North Carolina.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists at night.
- Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices.
- Give bicyclists a wide berth when passing, and only pass when it is safe to do so.
Each year in North Carolina, about 2,200 pedestrians and 960 bicyclists are struck by cars. Don’t become a statistic.
Visit the Watch for Me NC program website, www.watchformenc.org, to learn more about what you can do to keep our roads safe for everyone.