Traffic Safety Talk Newsletter

Welcome to our Traffic Safety Talk newsletter – the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) news and information update. Each issue includes recent projects, community outreach events, and safety campaigns. We discuss Traffic Safety Team materials and resources available for members. Digital flipbooks of the most recent newsletters are available. Additionally, we have included the PDF documents below to view current and past editions.

Current Traffic Safety Talk News Update • April 2024 Flip Book:

Click here for the new April Traffic Safety Talk PDF file. In this Bringing You Home Safely Since 1994 issue, various topics and projects include:

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Buckle Up and Slow Down

Hey Guys, Slow Down! There is an over-representation of fatality and injury crashes with young men, ages 18–24, in Northeast Florida rural counties caused by speeding and lower seat belt usage. We aim to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by increasing safety belt usage and reducing excessive speeding.

We want young male drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 to change how they think about speeding and realize it’s not worth the risk to their life or future. After interviewing this target audience in Northeast Florida, we established better insight into some barriers and behavioral determinants of excessive speeding. We found they drove excessively higher speeds than the posted limits more often on rural roadways.

Rural Buckle Up and Slow Down poster and banner

To help change this behavior, we have created a new safety message. The core idea is to save your life and protect your future. We need community outreach and connection to encourage slowing down and making driving safe the norm. Our new materials have country-styled belt buckles that say “Buckle-Up” and “Slow Down” with the message: Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride… safely to reach your destiny. We want young male drivers to feel it’s okay not to be the fastest on the road. 

Life is a highway made of more than asphalt and concrete, filled with cars and people.
These streets connect us and make it possible to go places, be someone, and enjoy the benefits of life.
The long and winding roads take us to our future.
If you don’t slow down and enjoy the journey, you may come to a dead end.
Your family and friends would be devastated, and the world might never know what you could have been.

Buckle Up and Slow Down

Help make buckling up the social norm and driving at safe speeds part of our safety culture.

Please download and share this Buckle Up and Slow Down digital graphic. You may print this flyer as a hand out tip card, include it on an email or newsletter, or post on social media. Don’t forget tag us! @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hashtag #SlowDownFL #BuckleUpFL #TrafficSafetyFL

speeding, aggressive drivers, occupant protection, Country Buckle Up Belt and Slow Down Belt Buckle

Slow Down – District Two Market Research

Levy and Suwannee are two counties in Northeast Florida with a population under 44,000. Comparing these counties with other similarly sized counties in Florida, they are ranked most problematic (#1 and #3) in the issues of both speed and teen drivers per the FY2024 Highway Safety Matrix.

Examples of why speeding among young male drivers on rural roads is a problem include:

  • Limited law enforcement presence
  • Roadway characteristics – curvature, grade, width, and adjacent land use
  • Delayed EMS response times
  • Pickup trucks are more likely to roll over, especially when significantly altered/lifted; they are top-heavy

Formative data:

  • NHTSA 2020 Speeding Traffic Safety Facts – Thirty-five percent of male drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding, the highest among the age groups.
  • GHSA Teens and Speeding – from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16 – 19 years of age) had a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups. Men were almost twice as likely as women to say that they drove at extreme speeds much more often than normal. 
  • Speeding-related teen driver fatal crashes – the driver is more likely to be male (37% vs. 28%), have run off the road or rolled over the vehicle, and to be unbelted.
  • Male drivers in every age group account for the greatest proportion of fatal crashes involving speeding.
  • NTSB – The relationship between speed and injury severity is consistent and direct. 
  • NHTSA – Drivers classified as speeders were almost three times as likely as sometime speeders to strongly agree with the statements, “I often get impatient with slower drivers” (45% versus 18%), “I enjoy the feeling of driving fast” (19% versus 6%), and “I try to get where I am going as fast as I can” (11% versus 3%).

Insight – Younger male drivers enjoy excessive speeding in rural areas without regard to safety or the law. Barriers and behavioral determinants:

  • Entitlement (the belief that their need to reach a destination is more important/deserving, ‘own the road.’)
  • Personable responsibility and self-protection
  • Driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers (male dominant attitude)
  • Hustle mentality
  • Traveling with the flow of traffic (everyone speeds)
  • Enjoy driving faster (extreme risks feel exciting, adrenaline rush)
  • Not predetermined, in-the-moment decisions to speed

Other materials, information, and resources available on our website about occupant protection, speeding, and driving tips for teens:

School Traffic Camera Enforcement

Effective July 1, 2023, Florida law allows camera enforcement of school zone speed limits and illegal passing of school buses. School traffic camera enforcement has been a topic of discussion for our Northeast Florida communities and Traffic Safety Team members.

FDOT District Two Traffic Operations Engineer Jim Hannigan explained the proposed guidelines. He answered questions during a recent Districtwide Team meeting. 

Pursuant to Section 316.0776, Florida Statutes (F.S.), the FDOT may approve the placement or installation of a Speed Detection System (SDS) in a School Zone on the State Highway System (SHS), as defined in Section 334.03(24), F.S. SDS installations on the SHS must be authorized through a General Use Permit in accordance with Rule 14-20.010 of the Florida Administrative Code. This is similar to the process used for Automated License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems and Traffic Infraction Detectors (Red Light Running Cameras).  

Please visit the FDOT School Zone Speed Detection System webpage to read an overview of the process and criteria, which include:

  • Placement and Installation Specifications
  • Special Provisions for General Use Permit
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact Information

Planning for School Traffic Camera Enforcement in Florida

Enforcement of School Zone Speed Limits Law, News, and Information:

Enforcement of School Bus Passing Violations Law, News, and Information:

If you know of any other local municipalities in Northeast Florida that plan to install and maintain cameras for enforcement, please let us know.

Additional School Bus Safety Resources for Drivers and Student Passengers:

Seasons of Safety

The Seasons of Safety collection was initially created in 2018 to reinforce good driver behaviors and our “Bringing You Home Safely” motto with traffic safety reminders throughout the year.

Just as the seasons change, so do our safety messages!

Buckle Up Love Valentine Card

4Ever Together – Feel the Love, Buckle Up on Valentine’s and Every Day

Help bring everyone home safely by sharing traffic safety messages with your community and loved ones. Driving safely and buckling up for every car ride can save lives. Click here to download and share this #BuckleUpLove Valentine card.

The Seasons of Safety includes messaging about occupant protection and distracted, aggressive, and impaired driving for various holidays and celebrations. Each graphic contains a traffic safety reminder to share on social media. We have created fun graphics for New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Cinco do Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl, MLK Day, Presidents’ Day, Spring Break and Summer Travel. Our goal is ZERO fatalities on our roadways because even one death is too many!

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Buckle Up Buddy Heart

Sweetheart Craft for Valentine’s Day

Check out our cute Buckle Up Buddy Heart and bring some safety fun into Valentine’s Day. It’s time to get crafty with the kiddos (or for those of us who are just a kid at heart). Don’t be afraid of pink and red, hearts, and even glitter. This is a unique Valentine’s holiday craft with a simple traffic safety message.

Buckle Up Buddy Heart Artwork
Make your own Buckle Up Buddy Heart Valentine!

You and your family or school class can make these easy Buckle Up Buddy Hearts. The arms and legs bounce and jiggle… make us smile and want to giggle while remembering the importance of buckling up!

This is a cute DIY craft for any time of year. Kids can make a Buckle Up Buddy Heart for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or as a birthday card. In addition to being a fun art project, it also sends a positive traffic safety message. Occupant protection is always a primary concern. All drivers and passengers should be properly restrained with a lap and shoulder seat belt, and children should be correctly strapped into the right car seat that fits their size.

Download this free printable Buckle Up Buddy Heart Valentine craft sheet and follow the instructions. 

Buckle Up Buddy Heart – Valentine Craft
Template by Northeast Florida DOT District Two

Community Traffic Safety Team

SUPPLIES:

  • white card stock (or heavy paper)
  • crayons or markers
  • glitter or glitter glue (optional)
  • scissors
  • glue or glue stick
Buckle Up Buddy Heart Activity Card

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Download and print the free template provided above.
  2. Color and decorate the hearts.
  3. Cut out all the pieces.
  4. Fold arms and leg strips like an accordion.
  5. Glue the arms and legs onto the big heart.
  6. Finally, glue the small hearts on to create hands and feet.

You can write a personalized message on the back of your Valentine card. We like, “Be Mine. Be Safe. Be Buckled Up.” Don’t forget to give your special Buckle Up Buddy Heart to someone you love. Or leave it in the car as a reminder to all those you love to wear their seat belt for every car ride.