Ohio’s ‘Don’t Be That Driver’ Key Message for 2016 Work Zone Awareness Campaign

National Work Zone Awareness week runs April 11-15 and its theme this year is “Don’t Be That Driver.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation, the host of this year’s national kick-off event near Toledo, has developed a number of creative and thought-provoking public service announcements that use humor to make the point that driving safely through work zones is the responsibility of all drivers.

More information on the National Work Zone Awareness week and the coalition of supporting organizations is available from American Traffic Safety Services Association, including details on a new 2016 initiative that encourages people and organizations to display orange to support the work zone safety theme.

Talking Work Zone Safety: “He’s the best dad ever”

Be Work Zone Alert

The California Department of Transportation recently launched a new work zone safety campaign featuring agency workers and their families.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)  and its partners — the California Highway Patrol, California Office of Highway Safety, California Department of Motor Vehicles and Impact Teen Drivers — recently launched a new work zone safety campaign featuring Caltrans employees and their children under the tagline, “Be Work Zone Alert.”

The multimedia campaign features a beautiful web page, outdoor advertising and public service announcements. Social media posts feature the hashtag #BeWorkZoneAlert.

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Traffic safety and the media

This is an interesting item that I thought was worth some recognition from those of us in the transportation communications community.

The American Traffic Safety Services Association is asking transportation officials to nominate a reporter or news organization that has exhibited fairness, a sense of balance, and an informative perspective on transportation issues for its new National Media Award.

The National Media Award was created by ATSSA as a way to recognize those reporters and news entities that go above and beyond in attempting to create a balanced transportation piece via radio, television, newspaper, or the web on a local or state level. The award will be presented during the opening session of ATSSA’s 43rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, held Feb. 22-26 in San Diego.

Some might wonder whether nominating a reporter or news organization might be going too far in developing a relationship with the media. After all, media should be independent and fair and balanced – not swayed by the influences of our PR powers. 

That is certainly true. But the media also is another way of saying “people who make the news.” And we probably should find a way to show appreciation for “people” who recognize that traffic safety is a non-partisan humanitarian issue. It is not political. Raising awareness for traffic safety is about caring for our communities and the people who live in them. 

There is that word again: People. Sense a theme? 

No doubt the good folks at ATSSA will try to spin gold out the award effort. However, along the way, they also are bound to recognize some good people in the media who just might appreciate the acknowledgement that sometimes stories transcend the “us vs. them” and instead just focus on the “us.” 

What makes “us” safer, what helps “us” get home to our families. What makes “us” all on the same team.

If you want to nominate a reporter or news organization, fill out the nomination form and email it to ATSSA Communications Director James Barron by Friday, Nov. 2.