Pedestrian Safety Efforts
Citizens need to move easily throughout the town and region, so government will provide a variety of options, such as sidewalks, bike paths, greenways, connected streets, and transit.
"Because we pride ourselves in being a walkable and bikeable community, we need our community members to feel safe on our roads and sidewalks, and pedestrian safety is of utmost importance.” - Mayor Rusty Knox
Watch For Me NC
Community members- residents and business owners- all share the responsibility in making sure that North Carolina roads are safe for everyone, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Safe places to walk and bike are important for supporting active, vibrant communities. The "Watch for Me NC" program aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths through a comprehensive, targeted approach of public education, community engagement, and high visibility law enforcement. On this site, you can learn more about how to be a safe driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian, and ultimately, reduce the number of people hit or killed by vehicles on NC streets. Click HERE to learn more.
Watch for Me NC also has several helpful resources:
- Crash Facts (Click here to see the North Carolina Department of Transportation's bicycle and pedestrian research and data.)
- Safety Resources, including FAQs, driver/pedestrian/bicycle laws, and safety tips)
- School Safety Resources
The Town of Davidson launched its ICU campaign in May 2013. This pedestrian safety initiative was designed to educate pedestrians and motorists in an effort to reduce accidents which could result in injury or death. By encouraging pedestrians and drivers on Davidson streets to think “ICU” (I See You), everyone stays safe when traveling around town.
North Carolina Law
The driver of any vehicle upon a highway within a business or residence district shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing such highway within any clearly marked crosswalk, or any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block, except at intersections where the movement of traffic is being regulated by traffic officers or traffic direction devices [§20-155(c)].
TIPS – A driver is not required to stop until a pedestrian enters the crosswalk, and the pedestrian should not enter the crosswalk until it is safe to do so. Stand near the street, use a walker flag, or take a step on the crosswalk so the intent to cross is clear to drivers. Make eye contact with the driver, and watch for the vehicle to slow and stop. Give a vehicle plenty of room to stop. Consider driver perception, reaction time, and braking distance. For a regular size passenger car traveling 20 mph, it takes approximately 63 feet to come to a stop.
A driver must yield to a pedestrian within the crosswalk. Drivers should slow their speed as they approach crosswalks and be prepared to stop. It is the responsibility of drivers to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Once in the crosswalk, a pedestrian has the right-of-way to cross a street. Pedestrians are encouraged to make eye contact with the drivers of all vehicles and/or bicycles to ensure it is safe to cross.
- DO NOT run or walk into a crosswalk without first stopping and checking for traffic.
- Make sure the intent to cross is clear.
- Make sure the vehicle has adequate time and distance to stop.
- Increase visibility by: wearing bright colors, using the walker flags where they are available, making eye contact with drivers, and making sure that vehicles are slowing down or stopping before continuing across.
The Town of Davidson is dedicated to providing a safe network of sidewalks, crosswalks, sidepaths, multi-use paths, and greenways for residents and visitors alike to be able to travel safely on foot around town.
There are a variety of safety measures throughout the Town of Davidson with respect to pedestrian safety:
- Leading Pedestrian Intervals - This type of traffic signal phasing starts the pedestrian phase several seconds before any conflicting vehicle movement is given a green light. This allows the pedestrian to reach the middle of the crosswalk before a vehicle starts to move, which makes the pedestrian more visible to the motorist. A leading pedestrian interval is designed to improve safety for pedestrians while limiting delays for motorists and traffic backups.
- Pedestrian Crosswalk Flag - After students from the Community School of Davidson created and tested the crossing flag concept at several intersections in town, Davidson's Board of Commissioners decided to expand flag usage to promote the safety of our residents. Pedestrians are encouraged to wave an orange flag when at the edge of the crosswalk, to make eye contact with any vehicles, and then proceed across the street. The flag can then be placed in the receptacle for another pedestrian to use. The flags have tape which increases visibility at night.
- Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) - Funded through a Safe Routes to School grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, pedestrian flashing beacons are pedestrian activated signals to alert drivers of pedestrians crossing streets.
- Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (HAWK signals) - HAWK signals consist of a traffic light installed on a mast arm above the vehicle travel lane(s) at a crosswalk. When a pedestrian operates the WALK button, the traffic light operates similar to a normal traffic light signal, displaying a red STOP indication. After a timed crossing period, the light goes dark again.
- In-Street Pedestrian Crosswalk Signs - In-street pedestrian signs are the best way to get the attention of drivers on Davidson's streets. There are sings in the middle of selected crosswalks alerting drivers to stop for pedestrians.