KDOT Announces Major Safe Driving Initiative
March 22, 2001 (Release 01-036)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Contact: Rosalie Thornburgh, Chief
Bureau of Traffic Safety, (785) 296-3756
Major Safe Driving Initiative
Statewide campaign will encourage drivers to put safety
Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary E. Dean Carlson
unveiled a major new statewide safe driving education and
awareness program at a news conference today at the state
The extensive new program is called "Kansas
Driving: Safe. Not Sorry."
The goal of the program is a simple one - reduce deaths and
injuries from vehicle crashes on Kansas roadways. During the year
1999, 540 people lost their lives in crashes in Kansas, leading
Carlson to describe the new campaign as "a desperately
"We lose far too many mothers, fathers, sons, daughters,
brothers and sisters to fatal crashes," Carlson said.
"A goal of zero deaths is setting the bar impossibly high.
Still, we can, and must, act toward reaching it."
"Kansas Driving: Safe. Not Sorry."
is intended to serve as an umbrella for all existing
highway-safety communications efforts, as well as to present a
comprehensive new program based on extensive research of Kansas
crash data and Kansas drivers' beliefs and attitudes. State
transportation officials hope to reach drivers throughout the
state with the new "Safe. Not Sorry." message.
The "Kansas Driving: Safe. Not
Sorry" campaign will employ a wide variety of
media, including television, radio, newspapers and billboards. A
special folder, containing the official state highway map and
providing pockets for insurance and registration documents, has
been printed with highlights of the "Safe. Not Sorry"
message and key emergency contact information. It will be
distributed widely by KDOT personnel, including distribution at
the State Fair.
A key element of the campaign will be information kits
distributed to KDOT field offices. There are eight different
information packages, called "modules," each dealing
with a different driving situation. These modules will contain a
variety of communications tools for getting this safe driving
message out to Kansas communities. Module contents range from
pamphlets and posters to videotapes and PowerPoint computer
To ensure maximum impact, this campaign has been based on
solid scientific research including an extensive statewide
telephone survey and interviews with focus groups of both urban
and rural residents. The research revealed that Kansas drivers
generally know how to drive safely. They also take pride in both
their courtesy and their common sense behind the wheel, and
believe this sets them apart from other American drivers.
The surveys, and analysis of crash data, however, indicated
that Kansas drivers don't always do the things they already
know they should be doing. So the main thrust of the "Safe.
Not Sorry." campaign will be to remind Kansas drivers to
follow the rules of the road, and to remember the value of using
courtesy and common sense behind the wheel.
The campaign will include:
- "Back to basics" elements that reinforce the
fundamental rules of the road, such as how to deal with
mechanical breakdowns, and adjusting speed and driving
techniques to changing weather and road-surface
- Specific driving situations commonly found around Kansas,
from merging on high-speed freeways to making room for large,
slow-moving farm vehicles on rural two-lane roads.
- Attention to growing problems such as aggressive driving,
drowsiness and driver inattention. "Safe. Not Sorry."
materials will caution about distractions ranging from cellular
phones and hand-held computers, to bad habits that have
distracted drivers for decades, such as eating, reading or
applying make-up while driving.
"Kansas Driving: Safe. Not Sorry."
is funded with federal dollars. The Kansas Legislature's
decision in 1993 to approve a drunk-driving standard of .08
blood-alcohol content brought additional federal transportation
funds to Kansas for use in safety education efforts.
This page last updated 03/22/01