City launches “Watch for Me OKC” campaign to help make roads safer

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OKLAHOMA CITY -  Safety for everyone on the road is the primary focus of Oklahoma City's new campaign, called "Watch for Me OKC."

City leaders are raising awareness about paying attention on the roads to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles.

"I want them to watch out for people like me because I don't want to die," said Patrick Burk.

Patrick Burk rides his bike often and said he battles a lot of problems on the roads.

"Build a bicycle trail around that will go around the city so we can stay off the main street. Then I would be able to ride from here to that side and be able to hit the main roads without being in traffic," said Burk.

Progress is being made in some busy areas, like near S.W. 59th and Pennsylvania Ave., where city leaders are building sidewalks as part of the Maps 3 project.

"These are places where pedestrians can walk safely and not have to walk in the middle of the street," said Capt. Paco Balderrama, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

In the past two years, 27 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed in accidents.

"They didn't have to die and they died because somebody was not paying attention, either the driver or the pedestrians. You have to be aware of your surroundings. Life is too precious not to be," said Balderrama.

With the growth Oklahoma City is seeing, it's going to take the cooperation and heightened awareness of all of us to keep the roads safe.

"There's cyclists, there's more people out walking than there ever was before and it just seems like the number of distractions is only increasing, so it's an opportunity for all of us to look out for each other," said Mayor Mick Cornett.

Beginning Nov. 1, the texting and driving ban goes into effect in Oklahoma City.

Also, if you want to celebrate a pedestrian friendly initiative, Open Streets is this Sunday.

Roads will be shut down in southwest OKC with outdoor activities, food and entertainment.

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