banner - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (with photo collage)


letter Communication in combination with traffic law enforcement creates a synergistic effect on traffic safety that neither could achieve singularly. States should incorporate a communication plan into their enforcement strategies in concert with the national communication plans. Local agencies, in combating local issues, should incorporate traffic enforcement countermeasures in cooperation with national and State media mobilizations and crackdowns.

Large-scale communication programs may be cost-prohibitive for local agencies. States should therefore base their strategies on traffic safety problems that occur consistently across local jurisdictional borders. Local law enforcement agencies should support their traffic safety programs through earned media and public relations.

Communication should be based on year-round integrated activities that build upon, leverage, and maximize the impact of pre-existing enforcement and advertising campaigns.iv Mobilization and crackdown media blitzes increase public awareness that stepped-up enforcement is taking place and is effective in changing behavior. However, a year-round integrated communications plan, including a full range of communications, will assist in preventing significant drop-off in awareness long after the blitz is completed. A State's communication program should be implemented under two fundamental principles: first, identify the policy and program requiring support, and second, identify the audience through data.v

The SHSO, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, should develop a statewide communications plan that:

  • identifies and targets specific audiences, based on State fatality and other data;

  • addresses contemporary issues including enforcement of safety belt use and child passenger safety, impaired driving involving alcohol or other drugs, speed, and other serious traffic violations;

  • capitalizes on national mobilizations and crackdowns, such as Click It or Ticket, You Drink & Drive. You Lose., Buckle Up America, Operation CARE, and Child Passenger Safety Awareness campaigns

  • identifies and supports the efforts of traffic safety activist groups and the health and medical community to gain increased support of and attention to traffic safety and enforcement;

  • uses national themes, events, and material; and

  • motivates the public to support increased enforcement of traffic laws.