The Town of Chapel Hill has started a Pedestrian Safety Campaign following the death of two pedestrians on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The initiative will start with “Phone Free Friday,” an educational campaign that urges residents to look up from their phones and pay attention to their surroundings. Ran Northam, Chapel Hill Police Department's spokesperson, said this month-long initiative will encourage people to travel without dangerous distractions.
“We often see that people walking at crosswalks will have their face down in their phones,” Northam said. “And we want to encourage people to have their eyes up, to check both ways, even if they are legally crossing the road. It’s always good to have that extra second to prepare or to react to something happening around them.”
Northam said the town wants to encourage residents, whether they are walking, driving or biking, to travel in a way that will prevent further accidents.
“We saw these issues and we wanted to get out in front of the community with words of education and encouragement of conversation amongst one another to encourage safe travel behaviors,” Northam said.