WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - With thousands of students back in Wilmington you are likely to see more officers patrolling the streets; however, their focus isn't on drivers. The Port City is one of the highest ranked states for pedestrian and bike related accidents.
The City of Wilmington and local law enforcement decided to take action to lower those numbers by getting involved in a statewide program called, "Watch for me NC."
"The first step is to let people know this program exists," explained Chris Berteram, assistant Chief of Police at UNCW. "We are putting a lot of information out at bike registrations, flyers, bus wraps."
From Kure Beach to UNCW, "Watch for me NC" has eight different jurisdictions patrolling the crosswalks.
"We have a lot of people walking," Berteram said. "We have a lot of people as pedestrians we have a very busy campus."
With less than a week into school, UNCW has already had 58 crashes, two of those bike related and four of those pedestrian.
What makes this program different is law enforcement stopping and educating our civilians.
"Its teaching pedestrians to cross at safe cross walks and teaching cyclists the rules of the road, " Harrington explained. "Hopefully with education with all three parties we can provide a safer atmosphere for bicyclist, pedestrians and drivers."
The "Watch for me NC" program ends in December but the city of Wilmington and local law enforcement plan to keep education from here on out.