Everything that the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) does is geared toward improving the safety of North Carolina's millions of bicyclists and pedestrians. This section includes information on the DBPT's current safety and education efforts and provides downloadable resource materials, guidebooks, and other handouts with key messages for children, parents, adults, teachers, and other targeted audiences.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety in North Carolina
Safety promotions and education have been an integral part of the DBPT's efforts since its inception in 1974. In its first 10 years, the DBPT produced many safety materials, including posters, pamphlets, and handouts, as well as other manuals, curricula and guides. In recent years, the DBPT's safety and education work has focused on developing programs, producing materials, initiating research, and collaborating with other agencies interested in bicycle and pedestrian safety. One result of this collaboration, an interactive Crash Data Tool, helps users analyze crash data. Two of the DBPT's primary goals outlined in its Long-Range Transportation Plan directly relate to safety and education – Goal 2 and Goal 4.
The DBPT works closely with other units within NCDOT to integrate considerations of bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs into all facets of transportation planning and programming. DBPT also networks with other state agencies and national organizations to develop and implement effective safety and education programs. One example of NCDOT's commitment to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians is shown in the NC Summit on Pedestrian and Bicycling Safety, held in 2000. This Summit brought together government and community members across the state who identified seven major initiatives to guide NCDOT's efforts in this area, three of which specifically relate to DBPT's safety and education work.
Safe Routes to School Program
Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school.
Learn more about the North Carolina Safe Routes to School Program.
Let’s Go NC! Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Curriculum
Let’s Go NC! Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Curriculum is a comprehensive tool designed to aid in the instruction and encouragement of safe and healthy pedestrian and bicycle behaviors in children.
Learn more about the Let’s Go NC! curriculum.
An Event Planning Guide for Bike/Walk to School Day
Typically held in May and October, Bike and Walk to School Day events are national and international events that promote the need for safe walking and bicycling environments at and near schools, while encouraging healthy and safe physical activities for youth.
Learn more about planning Bike/Walk to School Day events at your school.
“Watch For Me NC” Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, Education & Enforcement Campaign
The NCDOT piloted a pedestrian safety campaign in 2012, known as “Watch For Me NC”. The campaign held in the Triangle region involved partnerships with municipal governments and agencies, and local police departments, as well as universities. During the 2013 campaign cycle, held also in the Triangle area, messaging included both pedestrian and bicycle safety. Following the two-year test pilot of the “Watch For Me NC” comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian safety, education, and enforcement campaign, a component to involve schools K-8 has become part of the campaign. Stakeholders now look to community partnerships to present this campaign locally as it is expanded statewide. Learn more about the campaign and community involvement at WatchforMeNC.org.
Since its inception in 1974, the DBPT has been committed to encouraging the use of bicycle helmets as an essential means of reducing bicyclist injuries and fatalities. Much effort has gone into creating brochures and other materials to promote helmet usage within the state.
Since 1990, the Division has undertaken a series of helmet promotions, as funds were available, in collaboration with other organizations and agencies across North Carolina. Today, communities conducting bicycle safety events for underprivileged children can request helmets through DBPT's Bicycle Helmet Initiative, which is funded from proceeds made on the sale of "Share the Road" License Plates.
Many communities still have much to do since many children still do not have or do not wear helmets, even with passage of the North Carolina Child Bicycle Safety Act in 2001. This section of the site offers information and links to resources to enable community agencies to promote bicycle helmet usage in their communities.
The DBPT has been a leader in educating both cyclists and motorists about their rights and responsibilities in sharing roadway space. The DBPT has also worked closely with the Division of Motor Vehicles within NCDOT to incorporate information for motorists about the law and the proper way to interact with bicyclists and pedestrians on North Carolina's highways.
In 1982, the Division undertook its first statewide safety campaign on the theme "Bicycles Are Vehicles." The thrust of this campaign was to increase awareness among motorists that bicycles have an equal right to use the state's roads, with the exception of limited access freeways and interstate highways, while educating bicyclists to the need to ride responsibly as vehicle operators. Therefore, everyone operating a vehicle, whether motorized or non-motorized, must make an effort to safely and responsibly "Share the Road."
- North Carolina Drivers
- The North Carolina Driver's Handbook has an entire section devoted to bicycles, bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities, and how motorists should behave. Learn more about Sharing the Road in the NC Driver's handbook; see chapter 6.
- Share the Road Signing Program
To alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists in certain heavy traffic areas, the Division worked with others within NCDOT to create a "Share the Road" sign - first produced and erected along roadways in 1987. The sign was later adopted as part of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that is used throughout the country. Installations of Share the Road signs are still an ongoing process.
- Share the Road License Plate
The NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation recognizes the need to educate cyclists and motorists about their rights and responsibilities in sharing roadway space. In an effort to bring greater awareness to the public a "Share the Road" specialized license plate has been made available.
- Share the Road Posters
Each year in N.C. more than 900 bicycle-motor vehicle crashes are reported to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. The number of bicyclists killed on N.C. roads between 2002 and 2006, was 112.
NCDOT will continue to reinforce the message of safety by encouraging motorists and bicyclists to "Share the Road" responsibly. To promote this effort two Share the Road posters are now available for ordering or downloading on your own printer.
Downloadable versions are sized to print out 11X17. Large, hard copies of posters are available to NC residents only, while supplies last.
If you or your organization would like to order copies, please note that the posters are mailed in tubes to prevent damage - there is a $3.00 shipping and handling fee per poster.
The DBPT has an extensive selection of how-to manuals, informative guidebooks, and kits that provide comprehensive information on a variety of topics. These educational materials may be used by the general public, event organizers, teachers, or others. All are downloadable in PDF version. Manuals and guidebooks that are available in hard copy may be requested through the Safety Materials Order Form.
The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to use caution at railroad crossings and stay off train tracks.
For more information, please check NCDOT’s BeRailSafe program, which provides information to educate adults, kids, motorists and pedestrians about the importance of staying off railroad tracks.
This section lists safety materials and education programs that are available through the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. Materials are organized by the targeted age level for which they were developed. Within each age level, you may find an assortment of pamphlets, handouts, tests, curriculum, information sheets, posters, videos and other miscellaneous items.
Materials are provided in a downloadable format for general use unless otherwise specified. North Carolina agencies and residents may also request hard copies of the materials free of charge (up to 500 copies of each item, except as noted). You may order online or by calling (919) 707-2600 during regular business hours. You may also fax the order to (919) 715-4421. For larger orders, please allow a minimum of three weeks for delivery.
Bicycle and pedestrian safety is a concern not only for the DBPT but also for other agencies at the state, federal and local levels. Below is a list with links to other helpful agencies and resources.