Monday, December 20, 2010

What Firefighters Can Teach Us About Roadway Safety - Keep Kids Alive!

Check out "Omaha's Bravest on Remarkable Streak."

Note that the key to having no fire fatalities for two years "has been built on better training and education of the public." This is certainly a lesson we all can take to heart in our roadway safety efforts.

Education is considered a key component of the 4 "Es" of traffic safety - Education, Engineering, Enforcement, and Emergency Response. However, oftentimes communities do all they can in the areas of enforcement and engineering, and problems like speeding, stop-sign running, not buckling up, and tailgating persist.
The challenge for all of us in traffic safety day after day after day is to educate the public about the behaviors that promote safe driving once one receives a license to drive. Education must be ongoing. It is much like the need for sports teams or musical groups to practice throughout the season, not just in preparation for the first performance. We can always get better, but not without ongoing education and practice.

Certainly campaigns exist, such as "Click It or Ticket," and "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" that work to educate the public. These initiatives focus on the consequences for not doing what common sense tells us we should do. Yet, we need only pay attention to news accounts each day telling stories of loved ones whose lives are shattered as they fly out of a vehicle because they were not buckled up or who cause the death of another as a result of drinking and driving.

The companion to "consequential" education is to be pro-active in focusing upon the relational benefits of observing speed limits, stopping at stop signs and stop lights, buckling up, not drinking and driving, or engaging in any of the many behaviors associated with distracted driving. Two questions that come to mind in educating and engaging the public in these efforts are:

Who do you love?
Who loves you?

Put another way:

Who are you coming home to?
Who is coming home to you?

Preserving relationships is what good laws and our adherence to them is all about.

The State of North Dakota in promoting greater seat-belt use by pick-up drivers found that educational messages that are relationally-based have greater success in moving the positive behavior meter forward than does stressing negative consequences. Are we ready to do something positive to educate ourselves and our fellow citizens to reduce traffic deaths - today, next week, in the month ahead, in the next year?

If so, all you need to begin mobilizing, whether in your own home or neighborhood, or in your entire community, is waiting to be downloaded for free at Keep Kids Alive - Start Now.

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend (Tia's dad)

In safety,
Tom Everson
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 - A Non-Profit "For Action" Organization 501(c)(3)

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