SDOT and AARP launch public service ads to promote safety on foot and behind the wheel
Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest major cities in the country for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike. Yet crashes happen every day. Most of them are avoidable and caused by speeding, distraction and impairment. To address this, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and AARP Seattle have partnered to develop a public service campaign highlighting important safety tips for drivers and pedestrians.
While safety for everyone is SDOT’s number one priority, the particular focus for this campaign is older adults. In Seattle, from 2010 to 2013, people of age 50 or older accounted for 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities (16 out of 23 total fatalities). “Our data shows that older adults are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to being hit,” said SDOT Acting Director Scott Kubly. “We are pleased to have a respected partner like AARP Seattle helping us reach this audience.”
Older adults have specific needs when it comes to pedestrian safety and SDOT recently developed the “Stay Active, Walk Safe” initiative to help address this. “We’re sharing information via this ad campaign and in-person through presentations at senior centers and community gathering places around Seattle,” said Kubly. “And if there’s something in your neighborhood that’s making it difficult to safely get around, we want know about it.”
“We’re always looking for unique partnerships to provide real possibilities and solutions to our members,” said Jason Erskine, communications director, AARP Washington. “Older adults are one segment of the community in need of options for walking safely to run errands, socialize, take transit, and just stay healthy. With this campaign, we’re providing important information that will keep folks moving through their daily lives safely—and that’s important to us.”
The ads begin airing this month on KOMO 4 TV, Univision Seattle, KOMO NewsRadio, STAR 101.5, KVI Talk Radio, KOMOnews.com, and UWTV. Some of the safety tips highlighted in the new ads include:
- Scout Your Route. Explore the city by foot, but be sure to plan your route ahead of time.
- Be Seen. Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing.
- Look, Smile, Wave. Make eye contact with drivers and make sure they see you before crossing.
- Know Your Speed. Know your abilities and don’t start crossing when the “Don’t Walk” message is flashing.
Behind the wheel
- Ditch The Distractions. Focus on the road and put your phone away when you get in the car.
- Watch For Pedestrians. Even if there’s no crosswalk marking, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians.
- Think Before You Drink. If you’ve had too much to drink—park it, cab it or take transit.
About SDOT’s “Be Super Safe” Program SDOT believes that one fatality or serious injury is one too many. The Be Super Safe program is a public awareness program based on the recommendations from the Road Safety Action Plan (RSAP). The Road Safety Action Plan outlines SDOT’s plan to eliminate all serious injuries and fatalities on Seattle’s roads by 2030. The objective is to change the way people behave on Seattle’s streets, thereby reducing speeding, distraction and impairment. The campaign includes both public awareness and enforcement efforts with the understanding that a multi-pronged approach is the best way to see real gains in road safety. Safety is SDOT’s most important priority and Seattle continues to focus on infrastructure improvements; partnerships with schools, employers, and safety advocates; and targeted enforcement of traffic laws. One-third of traffic fatalities or serious injuries can be attributed to speeding, nearly half to driver-impairment and 22 percent to distracted drivers. These contributing circumstances are all preventable. A transportation system with zero fatalities and serious collisions would ensure that people using all modes of travel are safer on our streets, that people and goods keep moving and that families will no longer be affected by crashes that didn’t have to happen. Read more at: http://www.seattle.gov/beSuperSafe/plan.htm.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational
information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; http://www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at http://www.aarp.org.