A new initiative to keep people safe on the streets of Newport


    A wave with your hand could keep people safe on the busy summer streets of Newport.

    The new effort has been heavily publicized with colorful signs throughout the streets of the City by the Sea.

    "[This initiative is] basically talking to pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists together about communicating with one another on the road so that everybody can be safer on the roads," said Bari Freeman of Bike Newport.

    Bike Newport, a riding force of the campaign, says most accidents happen because someone says, "I didn't see them" or "I thought they saw me".

    "When you wave, and you get a wave back, you know there was a two-way agreement so it's sort of slowing down the interaction in crosswalks and intersections, so people are recognizing one another," said Freeman.

    Some say they wave intuitively but this new effort in Newport looks to make the wave more intentional.

    The campaign is lighthearted but with a serious objective after three pedestrians lost their lives on the streets of Downtown.

    "Eye contact is not good enough, though important; and in Newport we want you to stop, look at people, address them, say hello, do the wave," said Leigh Jackson.

    For more information on this initiative and Bike Newport, log onto www.newportwaves.org.

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