Prepared by: Community Outreach Subcommittee of Public Information/Education/Legislation Committee Broward Regional EMS Council

Updated August 15, 2013

Texting While Driving Communications Plan

Situation Analysis

According to CTIA – The Wireless Association, text messaging has experienced a tenfold increase in the past three years. It is becoming the way many people communicate today, which means some people may be doing it at the worst possible time – while driving. The statistics on the risks of texting and driving are clear. Those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in some type of safety critical event as compared to those drivers who don’t text while driving, according to a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.  

The Broward Regional EMS Council is joining other entities such as AT&T, Sprint, T‐Mobile, National Safety Council, CTIA – The Wireless Association, National Organizations for Youth Safety, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Transportation and schools across the nation to educate employees, customers, students and the general public about using wireless devices safely while driving. Our goal is to generate a change in thinking and behavior of all wireless users.

Purpose of Plan

The purpose of this communication plan is to improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators, vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians and other road users by preventing crashes related to the act of text messaging and use of a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle.

Strategy

The strategy for implementing this plan calls for quick, highly visible successes in the short term, and more involved or ongoing initiatives in the longer term. Existing public education and outreach programs that are effective will be enhanced and expanded. Partnerships and volunteers will be leveraged to expand resources, enabling the widespread communication of public education messages. Social media tools will be one of many components in the communications strategy, along with presentations, signage, broadcast media and well‐recognized and respected spokespersons. In addition, legislative initiatives will be encouraged at local and state levels.

Target Audiences

External Internal
General Public Students Municipalities Legislators All Broward County Employees All Municipal Employees

Objectives

  1. Increase public awareness of the consequences of distractive driving to positively change behavior of wireless phone users.
  2. Promote collaboration between government entities to increase public awareness on the dangers of distractive driving behaviors.
  3. Create partnerships with private sector entities in support of the public education campaign to stop distractive driving.
  4. Support the adoption by the State of Florida of a statewide ban on texting while driving law.

Work Plan

On the following pages, specific tasks and timeframes are identified to achieve each objective. Implementation of the work plan will be managed by the Community Outreach Subcommittee. Monthly progress reports will be shared with the Broward Regional EMS Council. While the true measure of success for this communication plan is the reduction in the number of accidents attributable to cell phone usage, it is not possible at this time to collect that data. Therefore, the measures of success indicators below relate to the number of activities listed in the action items.

Objective #1: Increase public awareness of the consequences of distractive driving to positively change behavior of wireless phone users.

Measures of Success:

  • Number of speaking engagements.
  • Number of public service announcements aired or published
  • Number of social media followers and friends
  • Number of Web site page views
Action Item Progress Report
1. Determine campaign branding, including logo and tagline. Complete. Tagline: Take Five to Stay Alive. Don’t Text and Drive. Logo was developed and presented to two different student focus groups (Coral Springs High School and South Plantation High School). Overall, it was well received. Also created logo for Gabby Chaves LLC.
2. Create key messages to support behavior change. Included in this report.
3. Develop a “tool kit” for speakers and other interested partners including a fact sheet and PowerPoint presentation

Complete with Ongoing Updates. Current tool kit items include:

  • Powerpoint presentation</