Idaho Transportation Department Safety and Communication Efforts Again Recognized by National Peers
BOISE – For the third consecutive year, a pair of communication efforts by the Idaho Transportation Department were among the nation’s best, as recognized by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at their recent annual gathering in Charleston, W. Virginia.
The awards were presented today (Tuesday, Sept. 13) in the “Skills Contest” portion of TransComm 2016, where AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Transportation Communications honored outstanding communication work from departments of transportation across the country.
ITD garnered first place for the “Drive Safe. Belts On” seat belt video produced entirely in-house by video specialists Dave Tuttle and Mark Hall in collaboration with the Office of Highway Safety. The spot is aimed at a younger audience to address the importance of wearing a seat belt. The video was shot locally at the College of Idaho with volunteer talent from one of the school’s residence halls, specifically targeting youthful drivers and the decision to buckle up before the car starts. This was a strategic decision, as statistics show that if seat belt use becomes a habit at a young age, it will very likely carry through for an entire lifetime.
The advertisement ran during popular television programming such as Saturday Night Live, sporting events like NFL Football, news programs, and entertainment shows on network stations all across the state and cable.
The seat belt campaign message and visuals were also used in the design of internet web ads and mobile phone ads. Billboards across the state also displayed a buckle-up scene from the video and the campaign’s message. The video also drew interest on social-media platforms.
The department’s second award, an Honorable Mention effort in the Graphic Design – Photography category, was for a photograph of Captain Crosswalk taken in May by Steve Grant, who retired from ITD at the end of July.
Grant titled his photo Pirate. It reminds motorists to put phones down while driving.
The application said “People waving signs along roadways are fairly common, but a masked ‘pirate’ encouraging motorists to put their phones down was a surprising morning sight for Boise drivers passing the Idaho Transportation Department Headquarters building May 18. The safety of the public is one of the core pillars of the ITD mission, so this masked man’s promotion of highway-safety efforts was a welcome sight.”
Captain Crosswalk marched up and down sidewalks near ITD that morning, reminding drivers to avoid distraction – their phones. ITD posted a photograph of the safety advocate at work to the department’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. By the following week, there were 6,425 views and 32 shares or retweets.
Deemed the premier communications competition in the transportation industry, the annual Skills Contest recognizes state DOTs that represent a high standard of public-relations excellence.