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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

FHWA Working Group Meeting #1

National Pedestrian Safety Engineering
Outreach Campaign

Technical Working Group III

Qualitative Research Session

September 24, 2002


The National Pedestrian Safety Engineering Outreach Campaign Technical Working Group III (TWG3) was composed of engineering and traffic safety experts representing various disciplines from around the United States. This was the third and final meeting for the group. Most of the participants were familiar with the project and arrived ready to work. The group met at Holiday Inn Capital in Washington, DC. All of the TWG members participated in the opening session, which began with introductions and summary of previous TWG meetings.

The overall objective of the campaign is to "Reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities via effective, research-based messages to drivers and pedestrians."

The goals of the final meeting were: 1. To review the PSAs produced by LISBOA, Inc. based on TWG recommendations and research. 2. To discuss the campaign roll-out planning.

Session I: Review and TV PSAs

  1. Review
    • Dr. Megan Sheehan reviewed TWGI and TWGII findings and recommendations for the group. Including:
      1. What LISBOA has been doing with the information provided by TWGI and TWGII; especially recommendations to target drivers more than pedestrians, not to make the PSAs too frightening, selection of target audiences, potential campaign themes, and
        recommendations about production.
      2. Two focus groups were conducted since TWGII. Dr. Sheehan outlined the research findings and the groups' recommendations for the campaign.
      3. Pedestrians - target working age adults 21-65, thus reaching children, elderly as they get older, etc.
      4. Drivers - target young drivers 18-25.
  2. TV PSAs
    • Overall the group's overall comments were very good.
      1. The group's favorites were Television PSAs #1 (Safe Driver) and #3 (Firefighter with retro-reflective wear).
      2. Per TWGII, contract, and focus group research:
      3. In PSA #1, the driver is depicted as an identifiable character- he is not a bad guy, so that viewers can relate to him.
      4. The target age group for drivers is 18-25.
      5. Based on the frequency of pedestrian crashes, urban areas are the setting for the television PSAs.
    • TWGIII Suggestions for PSAs:
      1. Emphasize little girl holding mother's hand and turning around - the image could be used in a print PSA also.
      2. Lengthen the shot of the traffic signal in PSA #4.
      3. The stop hand signal in the pedestrian signal is reversed in PSA #4 - in an earlier shot the hand is facing the opposite direction.
      4. Emphasize the retro-reflective strip in PSA #3 on the firefighter.
      5. In PSA #3 - downplay or explain the flashlight in the firefighter's hands.
      6. Lower the music audio level slightly in all of the PSAs.
      7. Change the wording in PSA #4 from "Walking should be safe" to "Walking can be safe" or "Make walking safe."
      8. Consider removing the statistic in PSA #4 (Note: the statistic that was used was best-liked by the focus groups)
      9. Use more text (like in #4) in the other PSAs.
      10. In #2, highlight that the mother was walking in the crosswalk.

Session 2-Radio, Print PSAs and Brochure/posters

(See attached document for more summary of ratings and written comments.)

  1. Print PSAs
    • Overall
      1. Use one or two taglines across the entire campaign.
      2. Make one Print PSA using the image of the young girl looking back over her shoulder from TV PSA #1 -Message:
        1. Drivers slow down "Slow down, watch out for me-think of the impact you could make" targeted to both pedestrians and drivers. "Stop for pedestrians" in larger text.
        2. "Look for me when you're turning."
        3. "Slow down, I could be in your path."
        4. "Thanks for slowing down."
        5. "Slow down; they told me not to run."
    • Print PSA #1- Children at Crosswalk
      1. Use "stop"(or watch) for pedestrians," also make the text bigger.
      2. The younger kid is holding back the other. Would he be tugging on her sleeve?
      3. The visual seems like a message to pedestrians rather than drivers.
      4. Take verbage away at bottom, or make it more readable.
      5. Drive readers to the website.
      6. It would be better if the grille of the car were pointed towards the kids.
      7. For the text - reverse type on black would be easier to read.
    • Print PSA #2- Crumpled Baby Stroller in Crosswalk
      1. The stroller is not very recognizable - add a teddy bear, bottle, etc.
      2. Image suggested of '50's picture of dead child, upturned, crumbled Radio Flyer-use, or recreate. (This idea received mixed reactions from group.)
      3. Review spelling and grammar in the text.
      4. Use: "Stop for pedestrians at any intersection."
    • Print PSA #3- EMTs
      1. The picture doesn't match the text well. Can you add a crosswalk?
      2. The white words are hard to see.
      3. Change to a shot showing an intersection.
    • Print PSA #4- Family Photo
      1. Connect it to a roadway.
      2. This is good because it ties into the TV and radio PSAs.
    • Print PSA #5- Pedestrian Traffic Signals 1
      1. The reversed hand is an issue- the photo may be of an incorrect sign.
      2. This encourages people to read the signs.
      3. It would work better in color.
      4. Make the sign bigger and less slanted.
      5. The white lettering on white sign doesn't work.
      6. Flash marks should be radiating from the flashing hand, or add text with "flashing" and "steady."
      7. Pedestrian should be whiter in sign, the hand needs more contrast.
    • Print PSA #6- Pedestrian Traffic Signals 2
      1.   see comments for #5
    • Print PSA #7- Firefighter
      1. The firefighter doesn't look friendly.
      2. The light on the crosswalk was unpopular.
      3. There is a contrast between dark clothes & bright stripes.
      4. The layout of the previous version was better (with inset box).
      5. The text does not seem to be coming from firefighter.
      6. The firefighter's reflective strips don't stand out well.
      7. He's holding up his arm, as if showing off "shiny stuff."
    • Print PSA #8- Mom & Daughter in Crosswalk
      1. Mom and girl should be looking side to side.
      2. "Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Seen" message does not get across.
      3. What is the specific behavior? "Use Crosswalks," "Hold your child's hand as you cross the street," "Walk with your child, teach them how," etc.
      4. The visual should be more recognizable as a crosswalk.
      5. "Take time" to do what? Use "it's worth the time it takes" to ...
    • Print PSA #9- Boy in Wheelchair
      1. This ad puts too much onus on the child, it doesn't reach the target audience.
      2. Is the wheelchair too big?
      3. The child doesn't look like he was involved in a crash. Would it be better if he were in a cast?
      4. Verbal message should be aimed at adults-switch to a driver-oriented message.
      5. This is not my favorite.
    • Print PSA #10- Tragedy (Police Officer)
      1. I'd like to see image of a car with a broken windshield, etc.
      2. The officer is a good authority figure.
      3. Text re: "Pedestrian traffic signals let drivers know what to expect" is incorrect.
      4. Does general public know what is meant by "pedestrian signal?"
  2. Radio PSAs
    • The goal was to maintain the same feel as TV PSAs. As of the TWGIII meeting the radio spots were not final.
    • Four of the six radio spots presented will be selected for the campaign.
    • Overall suggestions for all PSAs:
      1. Lower the volume of the background music.
      2. Remove the music altogether from some of the spots.
      3. Make one or more of the spots 60 seconds (more cost-effective in a media buy situation).
      4. Suggestion new PSA re: "Sometimes I'm a driver, sometimes I'm a pedestrian."
    • #1-Safe Driver
      1. Suggestion include: "Brought to you by "your friends at the" Federal Highway Administration."
      2. Screech vs. crash sound-add more effect, add shattering windshield, eliminate screech.
      3. Script: "I should have been looking" vs. "I should have seen"; add "Just like you, I'm a safe driver."
      4. Make the music more somber, or drop the music for a second.
      5. There was some discussion among the group about the tagline and the use of two taglines for the campaign.
      6. Another suggestion was to use different voices with different genders, ages, etc. doing the same PSA.
    • #2-Young Girl
      1. The scream gets a positive reaction-should it be added to the other spots?
      2. Script: "Why was that driver in such a hurry" or "Why are drivers always in a hurry" vs. "you drivers are always in a hurry"- the question sounds less accusatory.
    • #3-Dead Son
      1. "The Mom is not impassioned enough...make sure actor reads better."
      2. "The message is good."
      3. Suggestiont: Use "In an instant" twice (add it before "my son could make anyone smile")
      4. Re: saving a life-change to protect a life? "Protect a life or destroy/change yours forever"
      5. San Francisco ad-"Sorry I ran over your Grandma, but I didn't want to spill my latte."
    • #4-Driving to School
      1. "There is not enough passion - the teenager seems old."
      2. Script "Until I almost hit that kid in the crosswalk" (vs. "someone")-suggestion also to make the kid into a friend of the driver.
      3. "We were just on our way to school"-how a teen would talk.
      4. "Use hip-hop music/pull up the bass. This is PSA most targeted to teenage drivers. "
      5. Increase the teen laughter.
      6. Overall this PSA was well received.
    • #5-Moment of Silence
      1. Add a church bell, include more somber sounds.
      2. Statistic-different from TV, not particularly effective. "...these are just some of the pedestrians killed today."
      3. Use different voices to personalize each speaker.
      4. Silence between each speaker.
      5. Add last names, fatal injuries.
      6. Not one of the favorites.
    • #6-Share the Road
      1. Script: "Should stop (look) for me/us," "okay, let's make a deal-I walk, you drive."
      2. Script change to up value of safety message: "I'll cross at the corner (follow the rules) (cross safely), you watch out for me there" etc.
      3. Change to "think of the impact we could make."
      4. This ad received a positive response from the group. It was compared to a contract between drivers and pedestrians.
  3. Brochures/Posters
    • There was some discussion as to whether brochures would be an effective use of resources. There is concern among some of the TWG members that brochures would not be read by the recipients. Seven participants indicated that they are interested in LISBOA's developing brochures as part of the campaign materials.
    • Make this item less of a brochure, more of a handout/palm-card
    • Brochure Concepts:
      1. Drivers - the reasons for slowing down.
      2. Explaining a multiple threat crash.
      3. A series of brochures about crossing safely - the driver and pedestrian responsibilities can be listed out. One side of the brochure targets drivers, the other side targets pedestrians. They could include:
        1. Turning safely
        2.  Nighttime issues
        3.  Crosswalks
        4.  Speeding
      4. Citation holders-as per Wisconsin, with business card holders.
        1. The holders could include tips for drivers such as slow down, look and stop for pedestrians.
        2. This could be included on the CD with tips for the back of the citations-have to find out different sizes of citation pads.
      5. Map Holder, Vehicle Registration Holder-on visor
      6. Where can brochures be used? Who is the audience?
        1. Fairs
        2. Mailings w/letters
        3. Kiosks-pedestrians
        4. Insurance educators, third-party Driver Ed school/instructors
      7. Flyers regarding list of fines in this locality.
      8. Media Campaign
        1. Strategic Planning guide will include templates for press releases & media advisories
      9. Questions:
        1. Should the brochures be in color or B/W?
        2. Printability? Keep printing costs down, include different formats on the kit CD.
        3. Can we put existing brochures on the CD, instead of recreating them?
    • Poster Concepts:
      1. Make the posters for kids, including:
        1. For classrooms
        2. In High School Driver Ed classes
        3. DMVs
        4. Driver re-education classes
    • The text should not be too wordy.
      1. Stickers
      2. Schools, bus stations, DMV, Driver's ED, City Kiosks
      3. As direct give-aways to kids for their house-pedestrian/traffic signals
      4. Corporate sponsors, like Kenneth Cole campaign
    • Use the images from the print PSAs-the stroller, the girl looking back, and the 2 kids.

Session 4 - Campaign Roll-out

  1. Roll-out plans:
    1. Idea: Test/pilot the campaign in approximately ten cities.
    2.   (If a city is identified as one of the worst ten places for any problem - that label gives the city a mandate to do something about the problem.
    3. Marketing needed for obtaining corporate sponsorship.
    4. Changing behavior is the main goal.
    5. Need to involve FHWA marketing people.
    6. SILO organizations need to be involved.
    7. Coalitions should be built.
    8. Some group members requested that LISBOA develop strategy for dissemination.
    9. Strategic Planning Guide will include marketing materials.
    10. GR (Governor Safety) Offices should be included.
  2. Evaluation:
    1. They should include people from state traffic departments.
    2. Need to utilize local coalitions.
  3. Next steps:
    1. What involvement will TWG have after the last meeting?

Session 5: Optional Session Geri Reinhart - Working with the media

  • Ms. Reinhart provided the group with a summary/overview of how to work with the media. More detailed information will be provided in the strategic planning guide.
  • Strategic planning guide will also have pitch letters and a media guide.
  • Start with local statistics, things you have done in your communities. This information will also be in strategic planning guide. Public information officers in your areas would have lists of media.
  • Total of 500 kits to be produced - State DOT offices will be the main contact. You can notify pedestrian safety people.
  • FHWA can notify pedestrian/bike advocates about the kits. FHWA is going to have to sell this to the states. Governor's Reps would direct state DOTs. That could be a tough sell.
  • A letter from FHWA or regional administrator could be persuasive to encourage states to use kit/support/enact campaign.
  • Some of the TWG participants thought that regional offices would have more clout than the DC office. Can put a template letter in the kit for anyone (governor, senator, congressman, chief of police, FHWA regional director, etc.) Asking group to send list of people that they would want to have letter from.
  • Letter could come from almost anyone - an endorsement would be good. Could be jointly signed between law enforcement and NHTSA.
    However, NHTSA priorities are seatbelt use and alcohol programs at the present.
  • A law enforcement endorsement would carry a lot of weight with law enforcement officers. Cover letter has to target the organization.
  • Should say that "we encourage you to work with all 4 disciplines in state (transportation, enforcement, health, and governor safety reps).

Pitch and Hooks

  • Left turn is one pitch. Retro-reflective is another, and turn signals is another area.
  • The group liked the idea of using different time spans for campaigns - a week, 6 months, or 6 events. The campaign can be tailored to different needs/goals.
  • The group would like a policy statement in the kit too. Keep focused on goals. Should come from DOT. This is one of vital few goals.
  • Media materials - psa, pitch letter, and background materials. Media wants to know what the campaign is about. Some stations just do not run it. If background materials are compelling enough then they will do a story about it.
  • Could get small publications or newspapers, magazines. From FHWA they would be more likely to use it.
  • Try to coordinate events with schools in/out, spring break, Halloween, Safe pedestrian Halloween tips was a great hook. Optional hooks, Walk your children to school day, Pedestrian Safety Week.
  • Keep a history of what worked and what didn't work. Lends itself to evaluation and helpful to others who are trying to do similar campaign - can develop best practices.
  • Maybe FHWA can set up a website just for this campaign.
  • A chapter on evaluation will be included in the strategic planning guide.
  • You will have space to explain exactly what you did. Want form to be as simple as possible.
  • Will also have a fax back form for media - print, radio, and TV. Ask media to fax form in about how many times they ran it, how often, audience, estimated value, etc.
  • Personal phone call follow up very important. You can't just send materials out and expect them to get played. Bring the material in person if possible.
  • Using printed envelopes will get some of the campaign message on the envelope.
  • Sometimes if you can't conduct all the calls you can assemble a team to help. Avoid deadline times. Try to be a source for the media. Does this fit for you right now? Would a different angle appeal to you? Would another time be better? Give them the info to make it easy for them. Not everyone puts that much effort into it. Give a list of questions.
  • Stage a press conference or an event. This grabs the media's attention. Make it a big deal. Walk America event, Halloween event, if there are media sponsors that's where you want to be. Invite news anchor to mc an event and station will cover it.
  • Use FHWA media contracts.
  • Make it interesting. An event is more newsworthy than a press conference. Halloween costume contest - ask media to judge it.
  • Beware of saturating market. Choose time and be selective.
  • Can launch in Feb/March.
  • Can use it for spring break or school's out. National rollout is across the board. Evaluation is different if they have money.
  • 20-30 state public affairs people have expressed an interest in the campaign.
  • A national rollout would be good. Connecting it with schools isn't always the best. Can use it with different things - not just kids.
  • Can have different events during campaigns.
  • LISBOA has tried to give you enough variety in materials to use them for different events.
  • Rollout - distribution of kits/campaign materials by FHWA? Intent is for FHWA to propose that it is coordinated. That is the ideal. Put dates on materials. Could get people motivated to get going on it.
  • National governor's association is an important resource. They could be a good organization for a national rollout campaign.
  • LISBOA did buy out with actors and music so you can run this campaign forever.
  • FHWA could encourage states about how to use federal funds to support some of these efforts.