The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a study examining the effectiveness of public outreach programs designed to improve highway safety. They analyzed the data from 80 studies to identify the correlation between high visibility enforcement (HVE) campaigns and measurable improvements in driver behaviors. The research focused on the primary risky behaviors contributing to traffic fatalities, including distracted driving, aggressive driving, drunk driving, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt.
HVE Campaigns Motivate Positive Behavior Changes
The good news is that these public outreach campaigns are proving effective. HVE efforts keep safe driving at the forefront of drivers’ minds and motivate positive changes in their behavior. NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket campaign is one notable example. The US Department of Transportation launched a $10 million mass media campaign from May 16 through June 5 this year to remind drivers that seatbelts can make the difference between life and death in a crash.
Click It or Ticket included an HVE segment, and enforcement officers across the nation strictly enforced seatbelt laws between May 23 – June 5. NHTSA reported that seatbelt usage increases around 3.5% during HVE campaigns, and the program successfully increased compliance rates from 58% to over 90% between 1994 and 2020.
HVE campaigns have reduced other risky driving behaviors and related fatalities as well. Campaigns targeting speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving saw a decrease in those behaviors. Drivers were less likely to speed through construction or work zones, use handheld devices while driving, or drive while intoxicated. However, these campaigns only prove effective when combined with strict enforcement.
Seat belt compliance remains one of the top violations for commercial drivers. Driver safety training is essential for keeping truck drivers safe, but NHTSA’s research shows enforcement is a critical component of compliance. Contact Interstate Motor Carrier to learn effective ways to reduce risk within your fleet.