Yield to Heels
HSRC and the Chancellor's Committee on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety is currently updating this pedestrian/bicyclist/driver safety campiagn. Please check back soon for updates!
Be Aware * Be Safe * Be Considerate
University environments create special transportation risks because of the concentrated number of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in a given area. There is nothing unique about the University’s campus that makes it any more dangerous than any other university of the same size and situation. What makes UNC different are the proactive efforts to assure safe travel for all.
Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Be careful at crossings: look before you step
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Be alert: watch for pedestrians at all times
- Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians.
- Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing.
- Don't drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
- Do not use your cell phone while driving.
- Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up, especially small children.
- For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.
Be responsible: yield to pedestrians at crossings
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
- Yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections.
- Do not block or park in crosswalks.
Be patient: drive the speed limit and avoid aggressive maneuvers
- Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs.
- Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
- Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians.
- Always ride with traffic and follow the rules of the road. Forget what you might have heard in the past, you are better off riding with the flow of traffic, not against it. You are much more predictable and visible to motorists, especially at intersections and driveways. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and use hand signals when turning and stopping. Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings and yield to traffic when appropriate, including pedestrians.
- Don't ride on the sidewalk. Although you might think it's a safer option, motorists are simply not looking for bicyclists on the sidewalk, especially those riding against traffic. So at every driveway and intersection, you are at much greater risk of being hit by a motorist than if you were riding on the road with traffic. Pedestrians will thank you for riding on the road as well.
- Ride on the trail, paved shoulder, bike lane, or bike route. But, you still need to follow the rules of the road and watch out for your fellow travelers. Ride to the right, signal your turns, obey traffic signs and signals.
- Be predictable and visible. Try not to be hesitant or do things that motorists and other travelers may not be expecting. Make sure everyone can see you and knows where you are and where you are going. If riding in the dark, use headlights, taillights and reflectors, and wear reflective materials and brightly colored clothing. Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while bicycling.
- Watch for stuff on the road or trail that might make you fall or swerve. Rocks, trash, storm grates, wet leaves, potholes, gravel, railroad tracks, and even wet pavement markings can all send you flying. Also watch for parked cars, doors opening, and cars pulling in and out of driveways.
- Watch for turning traffic. Perhaps rather surprisingly, the crash data tells us that getting hit from behind is extremely unlikely. Most car/bike collisions happen at intersections and driveways when motorists or bicyclists are turning. So, at every intersection and driveway, keep a careful eye out for:
- Motorists turning right in front of you-you may be going faster than they think.
- Motorists turning left across your path-drivers are looking for gaps in traffic and may not be paying attention to anything other than other motor vehicles
- Watch for Bicyclists at all Times. Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists may take the entire lane. Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way. Children and novice riders can be unpredictable; expect the unexpected. Watch for bicyclists before opening car doors. Don't drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
- Drive the Speed and Avoid Aggressive Maneuvers. Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Allow extra time for bicyclists to traverse intersections. Recognize hazards that bicyclists may face and give them space to maneuver.
- Pass Bicyclists with Care. Treat bicyclists as you would a slow-moving car-don't tailgate, and do wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass the bicyclist. Reduce speed when passing bicyclists and allow at least 3 ft of passing space. Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back. Don't blast your horn in close proximity to bicyclists.