Traditionally, driver safety advancement has relied upon changing driver behavior. The prevailing thought has been that by enacting traffic laws, and then having law enforcement patrols enforce those laws, drivers would drive more cautiously. “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” are examples of driving safety campaigns that use the threat of legal consequences as a way to persuade drivers to change driving behaviors.
However, because we can no longer rely upon laws and law enforcement to change driver behavior, Attorney Doug Horn is recommending that state transportation officials implement a comprehensive Driver Safety Program in their state.
Following are 8 recommendations that relate to state-sponsored driver safety communications:
Driver Safety Programs
- 1. Combine existing driver safety campaigns and initiatives into a single, comprehensive state-sponsored Driver Safety Program that addresses top driving safety priorities, including seat belt use, impaired/distracted/aggressive driver reduction, etc.).
- 2. Encourage driving safety stakeholders, including school districts, law enforcement, municipalities, and community organizations to partner with the state by utilizing the same Driving Safety Program adopted by the state.
- 3. Integrate driving safety into the workplace by assisting governmental agencies, corporations, and business firms in the implementation of the state’s Driver Safety Program.
- 4. Devote a substantial portion of the Driver Safety Program to teen driver protection, including initiatives to better equip parents in protecting their teen drivers.
Driver Safety Messaging
- 5. Build the Driver Safety program on a clear, concise, and memorable driver safety message that is applicable to all drivers.
- 6. Keep driver safety high on the public consciousness through a consistent messaging using both mass media and social media sources.
- 7. Use positive framing within the driver safety message in order that drivers are influenced to adopt higher driving standards, creating a societal expectation of safe driving.
- 8. Alert motorists to the new universe of risk caused by a rising number of distracted, aggressive, and impatient drivers, urging drivers to protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the roadway by driving alert, buckled, and cautious.