Unveiling of Billboard to Support Campaign Will Be Held at Florida’s Capitol
Tallahassee, FL (November 14, 2012) — The Florida Association of DUI Programs (FADP) today announces the launch of “Be Ready for the Road Ahead” — a year-long statewide campaign to increase awareness of safe driving practices for first time drivers. The campaign aims to educate the public of the major risks affecting novice and teen drivers. As a major component of the campaign, FADP will unveil a billboard that will appear throughout the state with support from the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association, which is providing donated billboard space from its members throughout Florida.
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities a person will do each day. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 15- to 20-year-olds than any other age group. Per miles driven, drivers in this age group are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.[i] Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable through the education of safe driving practices.
The “Be Ready for the Road Ahead” campaign addresses three major factors attributed to teen motor vehicle crashes — understanding the rules of the road, driving while impaired and driving while distracted. By raising awareness of these every day driving hazards, FADP hopes to increase safe driving practices for teens and ensure a lifetime of safe driving.
1. Understanding the Rules of the Road – Helping novice drivers understand the traffic laws plays an important role in addressing traffic safety hazards. Because teens are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors like speeding and lack of seat belt use, they are also more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes. These behaviors are not only dangerous, they are also illegal. In 2010, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes.[ii] Additionally, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use compared to other age groups.¹
2. Impaired Driving – Teens are at a greater risk of death from alcohol-related crashes compared to the overall population, despite the fact that they are below the minimum legal drinking age.¹ In 2010, alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounted for nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.[iii] Drugs other than alcohol are involved in approximately 18 percent of motor vehicle driver fatalities.[iv]
3. Distracted Driving – Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at the highest risk for distracted driving because they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.[v] A distracted driving activity is any non-driving activity drivers engage in that distracts them from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. These activities include texting, cell phone use, eating, grooming and in-vehicle technologies.
FADP will hold a press conference on Nov. 28 to unveil the billboard that will be displayed throughout the state of Florida to support the “Be Ready for the Road Ahead” campaign. The press conference will be held in Tallahassee at the Capitol Courtyard starting at 11 a.m. EST. The event will be attended by representatives from FADP and is open to the public.
The press conference will feature guest speaker Linda Silva whose son, Alex Silva, died in a motor vehicle accident at the age of 19 as the result of impaired and distracted driving. Linda has since dedicated her time to educate students, new drivers and adults on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
FADP has broadened its public outreach for the campaign by utilizing FOAA’s Public Service Program. This program provides qualified participants with the opportunity to raise statewide awareness for their public service messages through the use of donated advertising space by participating FOAA member companies.
“Billboard advertisements regarding safe driving are an ideal way to reach motorists,” said Charlotte Brand Audie, president and CEO of the FOAA. “In continuing our history of promoting programs that protect public welfare, FOAA is proud to partner with FADP to help encourage safe driving practices for young people.”
Throughout the term of the campaign, highway safety educational information will be posted at a “Be Ready for the Road Ahead” link on www.myfirstlicense.com.
Founded in 1973 as the Florida Highway Safety Alcohol Education Association, the Association was renamed to Florida Association of DUI Programs, Inc. in 1984 to more accurately reflect its purpose and its membership. The association serves to assist member DUI programs through various methods including the development of resources and information for problem resolution. These efforts lead to the creation of the Drug, Alcohol, Traffic Education (DATE) Program. This course was developed to address the problem of inexperienced drivers along with the continuing high statistics of traffic fatalities and is a required course in the state of Florida for all first time drivers.