IKEA Charlotte is partnering with AAA Carolinas and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, conducting a pedestrian safety event from 9 am to 11 am on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the parking lot of the Eastway Crossing Shopping Center near the intersection of Eastway Drive and Central Avenue, where pedestrians have been struck and killed in recent years.
IKEA Charlotte will be giving away medium and large safety vests from its BESKYDDA safety product range, while AAA Carolinas will be promoting its “Be Seen” campaign, encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to be visible to motorists and giving away items such as reflective wrist bands.
IKEA Charlotte created the event after co-workers who live on the city’s East side became aware of the pedestrian fatalities at the Eastway Drive and Central Avenue intersection.
“We felt by partnering with AAA Carolinas and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, we could raise awareness of this issue and maybe even save some lives,” said IKEA Charlotte spokesperson Brian Gott.
“Based on the huge turnout and community response we had last year, we feel that this is an event we need to hold annually and we are looking forward to it,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Charlotte has some high foot traffic areas and we want pedestrians to be equipped with gear to help them be seen.”
In 2018, there were 28 pedestrian fatalities on Charlotte city streets; in 2017 there were 27. The problem is not just in Charlotte. In North Carolina each year, approximately 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are struck by cars.
“With pedestrian safety deaths at their highest nationwide since 1990, we want to educate and offer safety solutions,” added Wright. “We are pleased to work alongside IKEA Charlotte and CMPD in an effort to save lives on our streets and roadways.”
CMPD will be assisting at the event, helping to control traffic and talking to citizens about pedestrian safety.
To schedule a pre-event interview, contact Brian Gott at 704.777.2345 or Wright at 704.737.8306