On Friday, March 1 the City of Seattle launches the first edition of the Super Safe comic series in conjunction with the Emerald City Comicon (March 1 – 3, Washington State Convention Center, http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/).
The comic is being released as part of the City’s Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe Seattle campaign initiated by Mayor McGinn to eliminate fatal and serious injury collisions on our streets. Containing stories, tips and information about the three leading contributing factors in fatal collisions in Seattle – speeding, distraction and impairment – the comic is targeted at young male drivers. Collision data clearly indicates that young men ages 16 to 30 are involved in serious collisions far too often. In Washington State,
- 85 percent of drivers killed in collisions involving speeding were males with 56 percent of those individuals under the age of 30,
- 77 percent of drivers killed in collisions involving distraction were males with nearly 40 percent of those drivers under age 30, and
- Males were driving in 83 percent of all fatal collisions involving impairment with 42 percent of those drivers between the ages of 16 to 30.
The comic book format is being used in an effort to connect with this demographic group that is notoriously difficult to reach. The first 3000 visitors at Comicon will receive a copy of the comic and banners containing safety messages will be placed throughout the Convention Center. Hardcopies of the comic will be distributed at driving schools, pediatrician and medical offices, as well as schools and community centers throughout the city. Digital versions will be distributed through social media and our website: www.seattle.gov/besupersafe .
Local artists James Klauser, Billy S. Patton, and Erik Thompson from Bullseye Creative are responsible for creating the vibrant, eye-catching comic art.
This work is just one piece of the City’s larger effort to improve traffic safety for all. Our Road Safety Action Plan outlines the traffic safety issues we’re targeting and identifies specific countermeasures that the city is currently implementing to combat these issues. This includes increased enforcement patrols, roadway improvements, and educational outreach. Education is a critical component of this work since the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 90 percent of all collisions can be attributed to behavioral issues like speeding, distraction, or impairment.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates the cost of a single serious or fatal collision at $6 million and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that these collisions alone cost Washington taxpayers approximately $665 million each year. Funding for the Be Super Safe Seattle campaign comes from a number of sources including $100,000 from the City’s General Fund and more than $400,000 in grant funding. If we prevent just one serious or fatal injury, this program will pay for itself many times over.
For more information about the Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe Seattle campaign visit www.seattle.gov/besupersafe, www.facebook.com/besupersafeseattle, or call Jim Curtin at (206) 684-8874.