About WalkSmartNC

What is WalkSmartNC?

WalkSmartNC was launched in 2019 as a collaborative effort between the NC Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) and the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) to reduce injuries and deaths caused by accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians.

The robust growth around the Downtown State Government Complex makes Raleigh an increasingly desirable place to be, but increased traffic in downtown has also contributed to a higher risk of pedestrian injury. The number of pedestrians injured in collisions with cars is increasing significantly, not just in Raleigh, but also statewide and nationally. 

The Division of Motor Vehicles reported that 249 pedestrians were killed in North Carolina in 2020, a jump of 7.8 percent from 2019. In addition, the National Highway Safety Administration reported that pedestrian deaths accounted for 17.0 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2.0 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes in 2020. 

To address the incidence of pedestrian and motorist collisions among state employees, OSHR convened a committee comprised of safety leaders and representatives of state and local agencies to look at ways to encourage safer behavior, especially at parking areas, intersections and crosswalks.

In conjunction with the committee's work, the NC Department of Transportation funded the 2019 Downtown Raleigh Pedestrian Safety Study to collect data from state employees and others examining pedestrian habits, concerns and solutions for increasing safety. Based on the study results, it was recommended that OSHR develop slogans, marketing materials and outreach methods that encourage positive travel behaviors that address underlying traffic safety conditions.

In an effort to continue the committee's work on pedestrian safety, the NC GHSP awarded a grant to OSHR to fund this initiative, WalkSmartNC, that focuses on increasing pedestrian safety in areas with high numbers of state employees who are pedestrians and/or motorists. This initiative entails a comprehensive education, training, enforcement and public awareness campaign that will serve as a pilot for the implementation of pedestrian safety projects throughout the state.