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Safe Communities Newsletter



December 2006

Sowing the Seeds of Safety in Ohio: 
In April, approximately 3,000 flower seed packets were given out at the Flower Seed Distribution Program headed by the Cuyahoga County Safe Communities in Ohio. Designed as a clergy outreach effort to target faith-based African American communities, Kathy Wesolowski and her team invited 47 Greater Cleveland churches to attend a brunch where they discussed how churches could sow the seeds of safety belt use. 

Church volunteers printed an occupant protection message on labels and attached the labels to the packages of seeds. When church members entered or left the church parking lot, they received the seeds as a thank you and a reminder to buckle up. If your coalition is interested in modeling this outreach method, contact outreach coordinator Chrystal Gullett at 212.844.1596 or email

This new site will post all recent NHTSA campaign planners and mini-planners, relevant news clippings, best practices, as well as NHTSA's annual communication plan and marketing calendar. In addition, there are many insightful articles and other resources on market research, planning, branding, advertising, media buying, earned media, e-marketing, guerrilla marketing, sports & entertainment marketing, and evaluation/return on investment related to your traffic safety media and marketing. Visit often for frequent updates. 

Work Zone Safety for New Drivers:
A teenager is killed every three days in a roadway work zone crash and seven more are injured each and every day. A partnership between the National Safety Council, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and a host of other traffic safety partners was formed to create a training guide titled “Turning Points" with Olympic gold Medalist Dominique Dawes as the spokesperson. "Turning Points" is an instructional tool for drivers education instructors designed to help increase student driver’s awareness and knowledge of roadway work zones. The tool kit includes an Instructors Guide, the Work Zone Safety Awareness & Training Resources CD, posters, digital information sheets for reproduction, an Interactive Driving Program CD, and a "Some Decisions Last a Lifetime" CD. To get more information on this program, call Jim Childers at 202.289.4434 or email

Rio Grande Coalition Recognized: 
The Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition (RGSCC) recently received the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for 2005 for the El Paso area. This award recognizes the achievements of an organization in the area of crime, gang and violence prevention/education that has had a great impact on the community. The RGSCC is a bi-national, tri-jurisdictional, U.S. Mexico border coalition, which includes community based organizations, law enforcement and governmental agencies from El Paso, Texas, Juarez, Mexico and Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

Traffic Injuries – A World Wide Epidemic: 
If a global flu pandemic broke out killing more than a million people a year and hospitalizing 20 to 50 times that number, what are you and your community prepared to do? Truth is every year worldwide more than a million people die in traffic crashes and, an estimated 20 to 50 million are injured or disabled. These numbers equate to 2.1 percent of global mortalities and 2.6 percent of all disabilities. According to data research, 85 percent of the deaths occurred in low and middle income countries. Associated economic costs due to traffic crashes are at an all-time high. Medical cost for disabilities and rehabilitation are staggering in the United States and abroad. To promote global collaboration, the World Health Organization (WHO) produced a short report titled “International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion” with recommendations and is asking for global implementations of these recommendations. To learn more about this report CLICK HERE.

Leadership Needs Mentorship: 
The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) have acknowledged that to have an effective coalition leader, the person chosen needs to be mentored in the required skills of good leadership. Since 2003, CADCA has offered training to coalitions at their CADCA National Coalition Institute’s Leader Mentor Program on leadership building and have provided opportunities for newly trained leaders to apply their skills and then become a mentor to other potential leaders. As a result of this program, in February 2005, CADCA launched "Project of National Significance" (PNS) to increase participation and awareness in community anti-drug coalitions. In addition, CADCA offers no-cost regional training for anti-drug coalitions. 
This training offers a two day workshop covering: 

  • The Strategic Prevention Framework 
  • Identifying community needs and resources/naming and framing identified issues 
  • Analyzing problems and goals/Identifying root causes 
  • Logic Models 
  • Creating and Selecting Interventions 
  • Evaluation Basics 
  • Sustainability 
For more information on CADCA and upcoming events,go to

Partnering to Educate Teens: 
In 2005, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, AAA Auto Club South, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) teamed up to provide traffic safety education for teens. Because teens lack driving experience, they do not possess the skill sets needed when faced with unfamiliar driving risk. AAA saw the collaboration with BGCA as a logical venue to reach this new generation of drivers. The end product comes in the form of an interactive application, driver-ZED™, which is distribute on CD to help raise awareness about teen safety behind the wheel. 

The BGCA has a national network of approximately 3,700 neighborhood-based facilities that server more than 4.4 million young people, mainly from disadvantaged circumstances. To learn more about driver-ZED™ visit their website at and to learn more about AAA’s involvement with young drivers visit

A Community Investment in Smart Roads: 
The Mid-America Research Institute, Inc. recently released its final report on the Evaluation of Pueblo County, Colorado’s Smart Roads Program, a four-year study on a program administered by the Crossroads Managed Care Systems. Initially, the Institute solicited for eligible programs that targeted 21-34 year-old drivers in reducing their drinking and driving behaviors along with several other criteria. 

One of five programs evaluated, the Smart Roads Program in Colorado, was chosen because of its three-year grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) that met the criteria for sustainability and its 20-year history with the communities in Pueblo County.

Community support through the Pueblo Drive Smart Coalition was the most important factor identified in the report that helped contribute to the success of the Smart Roads program. Representing 44 members of various local public and private interests, the Pueblo Drive Smart Coalition includes Crossroads Managed Care Systems, law enforcement, education, medical, and insurance professionals along with a host of other organizations. 

One of Pueblo Drive Smart Coalition’s most successful campaigns that ran from 1999 – 2001 was “DUI: The $8,866 Hangover,” which was launched as a public service announcement (PSA) through television, radio, billboards, banners, paycheck stuffers, and table tents. To download the full report CLICK HERE.

Partners for Rural Traffic Safety: 
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) have been working together on the Partners for Rural Traffic Safety project since 1996. The latest resource to come out of that collaboration is Partners for Rural Traffic Safety: A Model Program Supporting the Buckle Up America Campaign. The report illustrates the process of how 16 rural communities used the NRHA Action Kit to increase safety belt use. The best results were experienced in Manistique, MI where pre-test observation recorded 65 percent belt use and post-test observations recorded 86.6 percent, a remarkable 21.6 percentage point increase. All of the communities, except one, showed improvements ranging from 4 to 21.6 percentage points. The full report is available for download: CLICK HERE.

SAFETEA-LU Embraces Safe Routes to School:
For children in primary and middle schools, Congress has allocated funding of $612 million over a five year period from FY05 – FY09 for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) in order for the States to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing form of transportation. Only 15 percent of school trips are made by walking or bicycling and the Federal Highway Administration is focused on empowering communities to make walking and bicycling to school a safe and routine activity. Intended to promote healthy lifestyles for children and a cleaner environment for everyone, SRTS has been recognized as a priority program addressing the decline in children’s health from a lack of activity. 

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) has established a SRTS clearinghouse which will provide technical assistance to program coordinators and serve as the central hub of information on successful SRTS strategies and programs. The HSRC also will be responsible for developing educational programs on SRTS, as well as developing and maintaining a clearinghouse website, listserv and a toll-free phone number. The website is now up and running at:

Traffic Safety Facts - Just the Facts:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its 2004 Traffic Safety Facts. Included in the assortment of programs are: 
  • Alcohol 
  • Children 
  • Large Trucks 
  • Motorcycles 
  • Overview Occupant Protection 
  • Older Population 
  • Pedalcyclists 
  • Pedestrians 
  • School Transportation – Related Crashes 
  • Speeding 
  • State Alcohol Estimates 
  • Young Drivers 
Information on these programs is available from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, NPO-101, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. NCSA information can also be obtained by telephone or by fax-on-demand at 800.934.8517. Fax messages should be sent to 202.366.7078. 

General information on highway traffic safety can be addressed by Internet users at

To report a safety-related problem or to inquire about motor vehicle safety information, contact the Auto Safety Hotline at 888.327.4236.

Driving Skills for Life – A Teen Experience: 
A lack of driving experience is a key factor in the injuries and fatalities among our nation’s teenagers. During their first few hundred miles on the road, 60 percent of teen crashes result from a lack of vital road safety knowledge that affects four key areas: hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

California statistics show that in 2004, 459 teenagers were killed on its highways and 37,963 suffered injuries according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Safety Records Systems (SWITRS). Nationwide, there were 6,500 teen fatalities on our highways as a result of their limited knowledge base. To address this critical situation, Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) have collaborated to create Driving Skills for Life.

The program has a website for teens, parents, and educators with ride-and-drive programs and distributes materials to more than 20,000 schools nationally, provides public service announcements in theaters across the country and safety events at shopping malls. Click the link to access Driving Skills for Life CLICK HERE.

On the Road to a Safer America: 
On September 30, 2005, at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National Conference in Washington D.C., U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta revealed that the nation has moved up to a record 82 percent on safety belt use. Giving credit to states supporting primary enforcement laws, Mineta said, “With safety belt usage at a record high 82 percent, we are on the road to a safer America. And today, we are closer than ever to reaching our final destination.” Currently there are 24 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that have passed primary belt laws. To encourage states to enact the primary law or to increase belt use rates to 85 percent, Congress has created an incentive program that rewards states that pass primary laws. NHTSA’s survey also revealed that nationwide, motorcycle helmet use in the U.S. dropped from 58 percent to 48 percent and that states without mandatory laws was at 37 percent. View the latest traffic safety facts sheet research notes on Safety Belt Use in 2005 – Overall Results and Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2005 – Overall Results. To read more about this article, click on the links below:

Reservations Subject to Tribal Law and Tribal Traffic Enforcement: 
The 2005 Traffic Safety Facts Sheet Safety Belt Use Estimate for Native American Tribal Reservations is available upon request by writing to the Office of Behavioral Safety Research, NHTSA, NTI-130, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington DC 20590 or send a fax request to 202-366-7096. CLICK HERE to download PDF format.  

Wahpeton Safe Communities: 
Lisa Otterson is the program coordinator for the Wahpeton Safe Communities sponsored by the Richland County Public Health Department. Wahpeton Safe Communities increased North Dakota coalitions to 12 active Safe Communities coalitions. Otterson’s goals were to select at least 25 local stakeholders to identify motorist safety key program areas, which may include impaired driving, occupant protection, speeding, child safety seat use, and other potentially dangerous driving-related behaviors. The coalition has had much success in networking with local police departments and the local college under Otterson’s guidance. The coalition was successful in selecting and finalized their board. If you are interested in obtaining more information about the Wahpeton Safe Communities, contact Lisa Otterson at 701-642-7898. 

DOT Launches Web site for Persons with Disabilities: 
As a result of recent natural disasters and terrorist threats, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a new website designed to assist persons with disabilities with transportation, evacuation and emergency preparedness. To access the new website, go to

National Gallup Survey Results Favorable for Crackdowns:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Nationwide Insurance joined forces to poll Americans on their opinions of crackdowns. The poll was conducted by Gallup with results showing an overwhelming number of participants supporting high-visibility crackdowns. Gallup showed that 94 percent of Americans polled think that impaired driving is a major problem, while 60 percent of those polled, who occasionally drink, admitted to at least one incident of driving under the influence. In addition to MADD’s announcement of the Gallup survey, it revealed its three-year strategic plan to reduce impaired driving fatalities by at least 25 percent. To learn more CLICK HERE.  

Native American Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries Are Leading Cause of Death: 
As a result of the report produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the frightening statistics experienced by Native Americans resulting from traffic-related injuries, a database was developed to track injuries. A report titled Severe Injury Surveillance revealed that traffic-related crashes accounted for the highest percentage of treated injuries that were the most deadly. With the assistance of the Indian Health Services (IHS) Aberdeen Area and Pierre, SD District offices and Co-Step personnel, the Severe Injury Surveillance was completed covering the timeframe from 1997-2001.

The report documented low belt use rates of 3.2 percent, non-use restraint was 75.8 percent and 21 percent was “unknown.” Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation had associated costs assessed based on existing IHS cost protocols estimated at over a million dollars. Due to these overwhelming statistics, the Injury Prevention Task Force lead by Randolph Runs After was created and worked with two focus groups, North American Indian Women’s Association and the Elderly Nutrition Group. The later group was chosen due to the high percentage of falls as indicated by the Severe Injury Surveillance and CDC report, which revealed that falls accounted for the highest percent of treated injuries.

The focus group identified major deficits in knowledge of safety belt ordinances: showed a 65 percent lack of awareness of present safety belt ordinances, enforcement, and the associated fines for non compliance. Also, 82 percent of the focus group felt that there should be an ordinance. 

Safe Kids’ Expanding Range Reflected in Name Change: 
The Safe Kids Campaign has a new name, Safe Kids Worldwide, and a new logo. Safe Kids has been an international organization working to prevent accidental injuries to children 14 and under. Over the next two years the more than 450 local coalitions and 16 countries will integrate the changes into their coalitions. “While preventable injuries are now the leading killer in most industrialized countries, they are also poised to outrank diseases among children in developing nations in the next two decades,” says Martin R. Eichelberger, M.D., president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.” Safe Kids Worldwide will continue to provide stimulating hands-on grassroots activities, creating safe environments, and working to make injury prevention a public policy priority. As a result of Safe Kids and other safety advocates efforts, the accidental injury death rate among children ages 14 and under has declined more than 40 percent since the inception of the organization. To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide, go to  

NETS Campaign is an Annual Event: Dedicated to traffic safety in the workplace, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) will promote “Drive Safely Work Week” once again on October 6, 2006. Driver safety is a major concern for employers due to the high cost of insurance premiums, down time, and also for employees picking up the workload for injured employees. To learn more about this annual event, go to

Multiple Tragedies for Peers Brings Awareness to Traffic Safety: 
When young people die of injuries it’s heartrending, but when there are needless multiple deaths on the same stretch of road and the majority of victims are young people, it’s a tragedy. When 13 students from Jefferson West (JW) High School in Meriden, Kansas experienced the loss of two peers in separate crashes on the same stretch of road, the 13 students organized to address the problem. Named the J-Dub Road Crew, these teens brought their concerns to the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) annual traffic safety conference where they were a part of the conference’s “youth track” panel. 

As a result of “J-Dub Road Crew’s” bringing attention to the problem, KDOT engineers and other representatives met with Meriden parents, business owners, and other community members to assist them in submitting a proposal for 402 funds. A grant was award for a year-long educational program, developed and organized by the “J-Dub Road Crew.” The teens received recognition from the Bureau of Traffic Safety, who chose Jefferson West High School as their location to kickoff the state-wide media event for “Click It or Ticket”. The program brought to the school a golf cart obstacle course with fatal vision goggles, marketing to include branding with a logo design, T-shirts, wrist bands, and mini-basketballs with their safety slogan. “We’d like to see more programs like this in other schools, because it’s that peer-to-peer message that’s important,” said Bureau Chief of the KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety Pete Bodyk. 

New Social Marketing Targets Impaired Drivers: 
To reduce impaired driving crashes, the Minnesota Public Health Association, OTS and Safe Communities of Wright County created a new social marketing campaign. The campaign adopted the following premise: People who admit to driving impaired claim they make a conscious decision not do so when their children are in the car with them; however, they believe it is acceptable when their buddies or spouse/partner are with them. The campaign's goal was to educate drivers that though children may not always be in their car, there are always children on the roadway in other vehicles. The campaign also tried to increase community awareness that there is never a safe or an acceptable time for them to drive impaired. An advertising campaign was created to include gas station pump ads, posters, and stickers for liquor store owners within Wright County. To learn more about Safe Communities of Wright County, CLICK HERE.

Tribal and Local Organizations Network to make a Difference:
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota experienced 462 severe injuries and 12 fatalities of young adults between 1995 and 2003, prompting the community to take action. The Community Injury Prevention Team was called into action, networking with the Community Health Education, Health Administration, Tribal Police Department, Indian Health Services, Boys and Girls Club, SADD, MADD, and the Injury Prevention Coordinator Shannon White. As a result of this collaborative effort, an evaluation of programs implemented for safety belts showed an increased belt usage rate from 30 percent to 60 percent during the period of October 2004 through May 2005. During this evaluation period, Sisseton Wahpeton College experienced an increase in belt use from 29 percent to 57 percent. To learn more about this collaborative effort contact Shannon White at 605-698-3922 or CLICK HERE.

Sports Marketing Planners for Traffic Safety: 
In conjunction with NHTSA, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) has developed marketing collateral for highway safety organizations to encourage fans to buckle up and prevent impaired driving while they support their favorite sports and teams. The prevention campaign is called Responsibility Has Its Rewards (RHIR). Specific messages under the RHIR campaign are 'Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk' in support of designating a sober driver and 'Buckle Up. Every Trip, Every Time.' for safety belt usage. The RHIR campaign is not designed to replace or compete with existing enforcement messages. The campaign is designed to promote responsible fan behavior at sports stadiums, arenas, and racetracks as well as on the roadways. To view these valuable resources CLICK HERE.

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