U Drive. U Text. U Pay
2014 National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign
U Drive. U Text. U Pay is the first national high-visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign that combines periods of intense anti-texting enforcement coupled with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.
To support the national campaign, State Highway Safety Offices are working on enforcement and education activities to remind all drivers to put down the phone and just drive.
- Alabama—The Alabama Office of Highway Safety has encouraged all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies to step up their enforcement of distracted driving laws throughout the targeted April 10 -15 high-visibility enforcement period.
- Alaska—The Alaska Highway Safety Office is supporting the campaign through electronic signage.
- American Samoa—American Samoa Office of Highway Safety has prepared a number of PSAs for the campaign period to be aired during sports activities on TV. Two specific events are expected to draw a huge audience: Samoa's contention for the World Heavy Weight Boxing Championship title and the International Rugby Seven tournaments (Japan & Hong Kong), with Samoa ranking 5th in the world.
- Arizona—The Arizona Department of Public Safety is participating in a statewide distracted driving campaign. The campaign includes a comprehensive brochure that outlines the dangers of distracted driving and provides additional resources.
- Arkansas—The Arkansas Highway Safety Office is reminding drivers that U Drive. U Text. U Pay with targeted enforcement running April 10-15 and a mix of traditional media including broadcast television, cable, radio and online ads. Variable message boards statewide will remind drivers of the mobilization, and The Arkansas Coalition Against Texting and Driving is planning various activities in support of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
- California—The California Office of Traffic Safety is coordinating high visibility enforcement operations by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and more than 250 law enforcement agencies across the state. April 3, 8, 17, and 22 have been earmarked for special statewide enforcement, with individual agencies looking for mobile device offenders in their areas on additional days. Kickoff press conferences in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and San Diego will emphasize the startling statistics surrounding cell phone use while driving. Public engagement message boards highlighting statistics will be set up in high volume spaces like movie theaters and shopping malls. TV commercials will warn drivers against becoming a distracted driving “zombie.”
- Colorado—Colorado is launching activities to address distracted driving in April, with plans to sustain outreach throughout the summer months. A video contest asks teens to show what it means to live, and drive, distraction-free. A Denver-based band has provided the track for teens to use in their videos. For more information on the contest, visit http://tinyurl.com/lifeinslomo. Additionally, Colorado is developing posters and brochures and supporting an initiative called "Red Thumb Reminder," which encourages drivers to paint their thumbnail red as reminder not to text and drive. The state highway safety office is providing media with red nail polish to promote the reminder and handing out red nail polish at events to help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Connecticut—The Connecticut Highway Safety Office (HSO) is reminding drivers that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” via statewide variable message signs. Law enforcement is encouraged to emphasize distracted driving enforcement. A statewide press advisory also is planned. Non-enforcement efforts include the "Save a Life Tour,” a distracted driving program reaching 30 Connecticut high schools throughout the school year. The HSO will also be sponsoring related signage at six different sporting venues.
- Delaware—Delaware is sponsoring a distracted driving enforcement blitz on April 11 and using paid media to spread the word throughout the month.
- District of Columbia—Targeted enforcement is running April 7-14. D.C. is using a mix of traditional media vehicles to reach drivers with its anti-distraction message. Radio is being used to reach drivers behind the wheel. Out-of-home ads will provide increased reach through signage on buses, MPD billboards, and variable message signs in enforcement areas.
- Florida—Florida is reminding drivers to “Put it Down” through a statewide campaign. A total of 226 law enforcement agencies are participating in increased enforcement. Educational efforts include website banners, social media, and a proclamation from the Governor recognizing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Digital message boards on state highways will display the message to not text while driving, and social media will share campaign related messages and PSAs. The Orlando Sentinel is teaming up with Ford Driving Skills for Life on a booklet for high school seniors that highlights the dangers of texting while driving.
- Georgia—The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is using the U Drive. U Text. U Pay message online and through social media to spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving. In addition, GOHS’s paid media will target adults in the 18-34 age range, focusing on women. A statewide earned media campaign will kick off Distracted Driving Awareness Month in advance of the state's April 7-15 enforcement period. Finally, GOHS staff has signed a pledge to be an example to both the Georgia motoring public and other state agencies that they will follow state law and not text and drive.
- Guam—The Guam Office of Highway Safety is promoting events and activities highlighting the dangers and consequences of distracted driving. Activities include: targeted high visibility enforcement running April 10-15; education outreach with several high schools; interviews with radio and TV talk shows; and production and broadcasting of a distracted driving public service announcement.
- Hawaii—The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the four county police departments are working together to raise public awareness of distracted driving. Police will conduct enhanced enforcement throughout the month and issue press releases to publicize the stepped-up enforcement. To support enforcement efforts, the HDOT will launch a paid media educational campaign using television and radio ads. Earned media initiatives include in-studio interviews with morning television shows, evening news story placements, on-air radio interviews, op-ed pieces and news pitches to local daily and high school newspapers. In addition, Hawaii will conduct community outreach by presenting distracted driving information to local schools and colleges, and contacting businesses to adopt the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” pledge.
- Idaho—Idaho is planning a press conference during National Distracted Driving Week to recognize an Idaho employer who recently implemented a no phone policy for employees when driving their company vehicles.
- Illinois—Illinois' Drop it and Drive public awareness campaign to educate drivers about the state's hand-held cellphone ban. It launched in February and runs through early Spring. Media includes TV and radio traffic alerts, outdoor ads, and mobile digital banners. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program is teaming up with Ford Driving Skills for Life to teach teens rigorous behind the wheel driving exercises, including distracted driving demonstrations. Operation Teen Safe Driving also includes a P.R.O.M. (Please Return on Monday) program to help high school encourage teens to drive safely, not drive distracted and never drive after drinking alcohol.
- Iowa—The Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau is conducting a variety of media efforts to spread the word about the campaign. Radio Iowa is running a new PSA on 117 radio stations, focusing on the many distractions that can occur on rural roads. Several sports teams will display signs and air ads during events. Billboards across the states are displaying a “Crash Course in Texting” message. In addition, the highway safety office is distributing a “Safe Lanes” Distracted Driving Guide for Employers that includes sample corporate policies.
- Kansas—The Kansas Department of Transportation is planning a press event, paid media and enforcement to combat distracted driving. The press event will take place on April 17. Paid media and enforcement will run April 18-27.
- Kentucky—The highway safety office is supporting a high visibility statewide texting-while-driving enforcement campaign with paid media. Law enforcement agencies will be using unmarked SUVs and spotters to catch texting drivers. On the media front, statewide radio is running ads, with emphasis in the counties with targeted enforcement. The office is also utilizing digital media, social media and variable message boards. A statewide press release will be distributed promoting the enforcement effort and TextLimit app.
- Maine—Maine is using undercover vans and SUVs in distracted driving enforcement patrols and will be conducting a distracted driving pledge radio contest aimed at high school aged drivers.
- Maryland—The Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, and 28 other law enforcement agencies across the state are conducting overtime enforcement throughout the month, focusing on April 7-15. Local partners and regional traffic safety programs are distributing “Park the Phone Before You Drive” educational materials to key groups. Variable message boards will remind drivers to “Park the Phone Before You Drive, Enforcement Under Way." The agency also is partnering with AT&T to bring a Distracted Driving Simulator to an area high school.
- Massachusetts—The Massachusetts Highway Safety Division is asking subgrantees who participate in the other mobilizations and in the sustained traffic enforcement program to step up distracted driving enforcement from April 10-15. Outdoor digital billboards will be used to educate the public, and a statewide press release will be issued prior to the start of the crackdown.
- Michigan—Michigan dedicated an entire page of its January Safety Network Newsletter to the Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is providing its network partners with information on the NHTSA paid ad buy, the enforcement dates, and the free resources are available from the state, NHTSA, and other sources to publicize enforcement efforts and the message for the campaign.
- Minnesota—The Minnesota Department of Public Safety/Office of Traffic Safety has several activities planned for the month. Enforcement is taking place April 11-20, with a coordinated statewide enforcement day on April 11. Earned media includes press conferences, news release templates for law enforcement, and high school PA announcements. The highway safety office will be live tweeting on April 11 and linking to the teen “body bag” You Tube video on Facebook. In addition to paid media ads on TV and radio, the office is also reaching out to diverse communities through African American, Hmong and Latino publications.
- Mississippi—The Mississippi Youth Safe-Driving Coalition is hosting an educational day and press conference at the Mississippi State Capital to kick off Distracted Driving Awareness month. The Mississippi Youth Highway Safety Programs team will publish a press release and give highway safety presentations to youth across the state to promote distracted driving awareness.
- Missouri—Missouri will do a distracted driving social media push in April, sharing the message with more than 20,000 followers on Facebook, and almost 2,000 on Twitter. In addition, the state is coupling the distracted driving message in our press and law enforcement notifications for a special occupant protection enforcement day on April 14.
- Nebraska—Nebraska is conducting distracted driving targeted multimedia messaging during the month of April through its “Teens in the Driver’s Seat” school programs, local health departments and safety councils.
- Nevada—The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety campaign promotes both the national “no texting” message as well as the state's hands-free law (covering all devices and talking on the phone). The state’s enforcement blitz is March 31 through April 20, and an integrated media plan supports that enforcement effort. The office is sending out a press release and expects good press coverage. Print ads are running in both prominent state publications and in sports arenas.
- New Hampshire—New Hampshire operates a year-round distracted driving enforcement campaign through its “Operation Safe Commute” program. Once a month, 72 police departments in the state participate in saturation-type patrols. The public does not know when the patrols are going to be conducted.
- New Jersey—Approximately 60 police departments are conducting a mini-distracted driving mobilization, including an enforcement overtime campaign from April 1-21. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, offer deterrence through visible enforcement, and issue summonses for relevant motor vehicle violations. The grant will pay for 100 hours of overtime enforcement for roving patrols or checkpoints. To help spread the message, a statewide press release will be issued prior to the start of the crackdown. Police departments are asked to engage their local media through press releases and public service announcements.
- New Mexico—The Traffic Safety Division of the New Mexico Department of Transportation is conducting media activities throughout April through TV, radio, billboard, and collateral print materials. Enforcement of New Mexico's recently enacted texting bill will begin on July 1. In the interim, the highway safety office is educating the public and law enforcement on the new law using press releases and contacts with all funded law enforcement agencies. Also, New Mexico has a new DNTXT App that people can use to shut off their phones while they drive. The state is developing a new enforcement campaign that will fund law enforcement to address this issue statewide.
- New York—In addition to unveiling new campaign artwork on billboards, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) is asking its more than 500 state, local and county police agencies to utilize grant funding to conduct high visibility, stepped up enforcement April 10-15, to coincide with NHTSA’s campaign. Locals are being asked to work with their media outlets to arrange for press events during that timeframe. GTSC is utilizing its website and social media to alert the public to expect increased enforcement and using “bonus time” in its cable TV grant to air distracted driving messaging on TV and in social media formats. The NYS Thruway and DOT will support the campaign by posting messages on their variable message boards.
- North Dakota—Beginning in April, seven North Dakota police departments will conduct high visibility enforcement of North Dakota’s anti-texting law using enforcement tactics such as high profile vehicles and spotters during scheduled saturation patrols. Enforcement is accompanied by paid media placement and earned media activity such as media ride-alongs. Paid media ads encourage drivers to put down the phone and will be tagged with North Dakota’s new statewide traffic safety message – Code for the Road. Follow the Rules. Follow the Law. – which reminds motorists that when it comes to distracted driving, Rule #1 is Don’t Text and Drive.
- Oklahoma—The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office is working with Drive Aware Oklahoma, a grassroots organization which promotes awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, and statewide Safe Communities groups to organize three press events in the Tulsa metro area, the Oklahoma City metro area, and Calera. The Calera assembly will be at a local high school and will feature teen speakers, as well as law enforcement officers and local officials. The Tulsa and Oklahoma City gatherings will likely include a mock car crash and/or distracted driving simulator, as well as victim impact speakers. Posters and brochures will be distributed prior to each event, and press kits have been prepared, including state statistics from the past five years.
- Pennsylvania—PennDOT is using approximately $225,000 in state funds to conduct a distracted driving media campaign, placing ads with radio and internet radio, gas station and convenience stores, online, and on social media. “Just Drive – Distractions can wait” is the tagline. Earned media and educational programs are included in a multi-faceted approach. Press conferences and public service announcements are being planned in each district. High visibility enforcement from 300 local police departments takes place April 10-15. Officers are focusing on texting and other dangerous distracted driving habits.
- Rhode Island—The Rhode Island Department of Transportation Office on Highway Safety is leveraging social media to remind teens that distracted driving can have deadly results. Specifically, the office is developing a series of YouTube videos, featuring local teens and will be running TV and radio spots the week prior to an enforcement campaign, involving 15 municipal police departments and the Rhode Island State Police (RISP). Working in partnership with AT&T, the Rhode Island Attorney General, and RISP on AT&T's It Can Wait campaign, this year the campaign has visited more than 12 high schools, earning considerable local and statewide press coverage. The highway safety office also is exploring a partnership with a local town to establish the state’s first town-wide “no texting while driving” zone.
- Tennessee—The Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office (TN GHSO) is working to educate Tennesseans about the importance of making safe choices when driving. A press release announcing April as National Distracted Driving month is being distributed to media outlets across the state. Two East Tennessee press events will announce law enforcement campaigns to target distracted drivers. In addition, the TN GHSO is participating in a talk show segment on a local NBC affiliate station to discuss distracted driving, and Tennessee Highway Patrol and law enforcement across the state will conduct saturation efforts to ensure all Tennessee drivers arrive at their destinations safely.
- Texas—On April 2nd, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching its annual distracted driving awareness campaign called Talk/Text CRASH. The statewide campaign includes billboards, gas station ads (pump-toppers), transit bus ads, radio PSAs, digital and online ads, as well as video pre-roll PSAs. On a grassroots level, TxDOT traffic safety staff in each of the twenty-five TxDOT districts will distribute information cards and posters to their local businesses, schools, and city/county organizations. Materials will also be distributed through partners such as the National Safety Council. TxDOT will once again distribute wrist bands to remind everyone to turn off their phone when they get behind the wheel, and it will follow up on all the April efforts by conducting a distracted driving summit in Austin on June 17.
- Utah—Local jurisdictions in Utah have activities planned to support the distracted driving campaign through signage, enforcement, and media coverage. On April 15, the Highway Safety Office is making a presentation to 30 private sector companies on the importance of establishing a distracted driving policy; a sample template policy will be provided.
- Virginia—DRIVE SMART Virginia will be promoting events and activities highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. Agencies and groups can order materials or download items from the Distracted Driving Toolkit. Individuals will also be encouraged to sign an online safety pledge to drive distraction free. Visit http://www.drivesmartva.org/current-projects/distracted-driving.
- Washington—More than one hundred law enforcement agencies in Washington state will be conducting patrols focused on distracted driving during the national campaign. To warn of these patrols, the Washington State Department of Transportation will place messages on their statewide Variable Message System in advance of and during the campaign. A statewide news release will go out prior to the patrols touting Washington’s participation in this first-ever national distracted driving HVE effort.
- West Virginia—From April 4-13, West Virginia will conducting a distracted driving law enforcement blitz. The highway safety office is conducting multimedia messaging during the entire month of April, with the message of: “Turn it off, put it down - Just Drive.” This year, the state is making its TextLimit app available free to all residents.
- Wyoming—Wyoming is placing ads on radio stations around the state, with messaging specific to Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Media are encouraged to work with schools to create an event asking students to sign a pledge to never text and drive. The state is soliciting corporate sponsorship and law enforcement participation in these media promotions. For more information, visit DriveSafeWyoming.com.