Pedestrians and Bicyclists


Walking and bicycling can be a great alternative to the motor vehicle because they reduce congestion on our roadways, promote an active lifestyle, and are environmentally-friendly. However, the smaller size, slower speed, and limited protection of pedestrians and bicyclists make them vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities when involved in collisions with motor vehicles. The responsibility to exercise prudence and maintain awareness of one another is shared equally among all road users—pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike.

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Notable Facts

  • From 2009 – 2013, an average of 168 pedestrians and 19 bicyclists were killed annually in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina.
  • 7 of 10 pedestrian crashes occur within municipal limits.
  • While 70 percent of all North Carolina bicycle crashes take place in urban areas, more than half the bicycle fatalities occur in rural-designated areas.

Emphasis Area Goals

In 2013, there were 174 pedestrian fatalities and 170 serious injuries, and 19 bicyclist fatalities and 31 serious injuries resulting from crashes in North Carolina. The goals of this action plan are to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in North Carolina.


  • Continue to develop training and education programs for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Implement and develop plans, policies, and resources.
  • Continue to develop communication and leadership support for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Build on strong data and evaluation programs.

Indicators of Progress

  • Number of pedestrian and bicyclist volume counting efforts.
  • Number of pedestrian- and bicycle-related targeted enforcement activities conducted.
  • Number of pedestrian or bicycle-focused Road Safety Audits conducted.
  • Number of agency staff trained on safe pedestrian and bicycle planning and design.
  • Number of pedestrian or bicycle-focused improvements installed.
  • Miles of pedestrian and bicycle network added or improvement.

Potential Implementing Agencies

  • Engineering consultants and organizations
  • Governor’s Highway Safety Program
  • Law enforcement
  • Municipalities
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • University partners
See Appendix I for the Pedestrians and Bicyclists Action Plan.