After considering a number of unsafe driving behaviors, TACT targeted “cutting off trucks” as the unsafe behavior to address. Using the State’s citation database as a resource, other behaviors considered included speeding, unsafe lane changes, aggressive driving, and tailgating. “Cutting off trucks” was chosen because there was a specific traffic violation in Washington’s statutes that officers could cite for the enforcement part of the campaign, and it could be rephrased into a positive message for the driving public – “leave more space.”
Public awareness activities and paid media were designed to increase awareness among all motorists of the need to leave one car length for every 10 miles of speed when merging in front of trucks. Public feedback was used to develop a road sign (Figure 8) that communicated the safe merging distance and enforcement messages. The road signs will remain up for one year following the end of the project (until the end of September 2006). The message applied equally to drivers of large commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles.