CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 22, 2018) – AAA Carolinas, IKEA Charlotte, and CMPD came together to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. The organizations hosted an event Wednesday, Feb 21 to give away free safety gear and encourage the Charlotte community to “Be Seen” when walking near roads.
In 2017, there were 28 pedestrian fatalities on the streets of Charlotte alone – the highest number on record. The mission of the safety event was to provide pedestrians with safety gear that will allow them to be visible and to warn motorists to be vigilant when driving.
In a combined effort, over 250 reflective slap bands, zipper tags and shoe tags as well as 250 reflective safety vests and 150 sets of reflective clips were handed out free to the public.
In addition to the giveaways, CMPD had 15 officers stationed along Eastway Drive and Central Avenue issuing warning tickets to pedestrians and motorists who were in violation. CMPD handed out 40 warning citations to pedestrians who failed to use crosswalks, 22 seat belt citations, 4 no drivers licenses, 1 DWLR, 11 registration violations and 7 miscellaneous citations. The goal in issuing the warnings educate pedestrians of the proper way to cross streets as well as encourage motorists to pay closer attention to pedestrians.
The event was covered by many news outlets, newspapers and radio stations.
Several people who came to get the free safety gear had stories about dangerous crosswalks, close calls with distracted drivers, concerns for their children’s bus stops and school routes, or a loved one who lost their life to a pedestrian collision.
The event revealed how this is an issue many communities in North and South Carolina care deeply about and something AAA Carolinas should consider pursuing again in the future.