W.H.A.L.E. Check Program

W.H.A.L.E. (We Have A Little Emergency) CHECK – Child Passenger Safety Program

W.H.A.L.E. Check was first introduced in May of 2002 in Jacksonville, Florida by Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two’s Community Traffic Safety Program. W.H.A.L.E. Check is a child passenger safety education and identification program for parents and caregivers in Florida. In the event of an automobile crash, children are often too young to identify themselves or provide helpful information. Parents/guardians are encouraged to complete the sticker and place it on the back of the child’s car seat to provide vital contact information to emergency personnel. We suggest users stick the two smaller labels on each side of the car seat. These alert rescuers that the occupant is participating in W.H.A.L.E. Check.

Our widely popular and nationally recognized W.H.A.L.E. Check campaign remains as a highly requested and distributed piece on important child occupant protection and car seat safety. Almost 300,000 printed W.H.A.L.E. Checks have been distributed in Northeast Florida since being launched. Over 1,656 digital versions have been viewed or downloaded from this website and have received over 10,000 social media W.H.A.L.E. Check impressions just in the last several years. Watch the video below to learn more about how the W.H.A.L.E. Check program works.


Free Resources: Printable Flyer and Social Media Graphic

Available statewide in Florida as a digital download courtesy of FDOT District Two: Click here to download the W.H.A.L.E. Check as a one-page, printable PDF flyer to distribute at car seat checks, traffic safety events, daycare centers, pediatrician offices, government agencies and hospitals throughout Florida.

Click here to download this CPS social media image to help promote the W.H.A.L.E. Check program. Don’t forget to tag us!
@trafficsafetyteam on Facebook and Instagram 
@trafficsafetyfl on Twitter and Pinterest

District Two Community Traffic Safety Teams may click here to order printed W.H.A.L.E. Check flyers online now.


The W.H.A.L.E. Check informational flyer also includes child safety seat advice and guidelines. Here are five safety tips to help prevent injuries in case of a car crash:

  1. WEAR YOUR SAFETY BELT: Studies show that if you wear your seat belt, your kids will too.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Always check the manual for both your
    car and the child safety seat for proper installation guidelines.
  3. Seat strapped in tight: You should not be able to move the car seat more than one inch
    in any direction at the belt path, and always use the top tether when forward facing.
  4. Chest clip at armpit level & harness snug: Straps should be tight enough
    so that you cannot pinch the fabric of the harness at the shoulders.
  5. Back seat is safest: Children age 13 and under should ride in the back seat.
    Older children no longer need a special seat if their legs bend comfortably at the
    seat’s edge with their back resting flat against the back of the seat.

We follow these American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations and want all children safeguarded in the right car seat:

  • Birth – 12 Months: Babies under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
  • 1 – 3 Years: Toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible – until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat, typically around 35 to 45 pounds.
  • 4 – 7 Years: Young children should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat – typically between 40 and 60 pounds.
  • 8 – 12 Years: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lies snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt lies snug across the shoulder and chest, not over the neck or face.

Traffic Safety Wise Words

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) launched the Wise Words safety campaign in 2018 with team member Walt Duffany’s Walt’s Wise Words. Walt began working with the District Two Community Traffic Safety Team when he was FDOT Lake City shop supervisor. He retired from FDOT in 2015 and now serves as Deputy Reservist Coordinator for Columbia County Fire Rescue as a volunteer. Walt and his family moved to Florida from Watertown, New York, in 1986, where he worked for the Town of Adams highway department. He is also a Navy veteran and spent time in Vietnam. Thank you, Walt, for all of your clever safety messages and for your service!

When the campaign launched with Walt’s Wise Words, the graphic consisted of a car with a bumper sticker with a Wise Words slogan. It has since morphed into a campaign with colorful images, graphics and catchy phrases which are all original and created by District Two CTST team members. The traffic safety Wise Words are short, smart messages targeted to drivers and focused on a variety of topics like distracted, impaired, tailgating, turn signals, and buckling up. Additional traffic safety campaigns were created for Work Zone Awareness, Occupant Protection, Distracted Driving, Safe Distancing Driving, Stop on Red, and Impaired Driving, among others. 

Share Traffic Safety Wise Words

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer”. Share these Wise Words on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag us! 

Facebook and Instagram: @trafficsafetyteam
Twitter and Pinterest: @trafficsafetyfl 

Occupant Protection

Seat belt usage remains the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities from crashes on our roadways. The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team continues to promote occupant protection and buckling up as not just a safety tool, but as a safe lifestyle.

New 2020 Buckle Up Campaign Graphics

Three new 11×17 “buckle up” poster designs.

With several recent fatalities involving passengers that were not wearing their seat belts in Northeast Florida, we feel it’s even more imperative to continue to promote strong occupant protection messaging. This basic reminder to always buckle up for every car ride is carried through in all three design themes:

Three new 2’x5′ “buckle up” banner designs.

Help make buckling up more than a trend or necessity because “It’s the law.” Share these occupant protection social media graphics and together we can make wearing seat belts a way of life for everyone. Please tag us @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter and Pinterest. Hashtag #buckleupflorida #trafficsafetyteam

Buckle Up – Social Media Files:


Buckle Up – District Two Order Forms:

We have the new “Buckle Up” artwork printed as 11″x17″ posters and 2’x5′ banners. All full-color and beautiful to display. They are available for our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Team members, partners, organizations, and our local communities.


Additional Occupant Protection Resources:

For more information about occupant protection and our other traffic safety campaigns, please visit:

Recipes for the Road

Welcome to our 23rd Annual Recipes for the Road! This 20-page digital recipe booklet is filled with nonalcoholic drinks, mocktails, appetizers and sweet treats along with traffic safety tips. Our goal is to help stop impaired driving and reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities in Northeast Florida this holiday season and throughout the year.

23rd Annual Recipes for the Road Digital Flip Book:

See below for over two decades of Recipes for the Road editions. Check out our Mocktail drink and food recipe cards and videos!

Recipes for the Road is part of our Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program with local restaurants and bars. Participating locations provide free non-alcoholic beverages to patrons who are the designated driver (AKA the “DD”). Together these printed materials and online resources from FDOT’s District Two Community Traffic Safety Program and local partners work to save lives and prevent injuries in Northeast Florida. Click here for more information about Celebrate Safely.

Be Responsible – Do Not Drink and Drive

Thanksgiving through the New Year is a fun and festive time of year. Throughout this fall and winter season there are many celebrations, family gatherings, festivals, football pre-game tailgating and holiday parties. They are all best enjoyed when we celebrate responsibly. Please always drive safe and sober.

Recipes for the Road was started to help reduce drinking and driving, offering a great collection of non-alcoholic drink recipes. Please feel free to share and enjoy all these mocktails, food recipes, safety activity games and traffic safety tips.

Learn more here: Impaired Driving traffic safety tips and materials.
Share our monthly Mocktails, recipes cards and videos.
Download our Seasons of Safety themed holiday cards.


Previous Recipes for the Road

Our past booklets from last year to the inaugural issue in 1997! Click on the titles below to view or download a PDF copy from these past Recipes for the Road editions:

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver

2019 Celebrate Safely Artwork

The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two Community Traffic Safety Program is excited to promote the annual Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver campaign. The popular public service initiative was created to help reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries throughout the holiday season. Together we can make a difference!

During the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day, local establishments are promoting the Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program by displaying the materials provided. The 11×17 full-color posters will be displayed in neighborhood restaurants and bars. The stickers are for servers and bartenders to wear, and for sticking onto table-talkers, menus, and bill holders.

If you know any establishments that would like to participate, please place an order online now.  

order-form

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver packages for bars and restaurants 

Due to the hardships and challenges many local establishments are battling this year with COVID-19, we are not requiring them to provide free nonalcoholic drinks. The following list of participating restaurant and bars have offered to serve nonalcoholic beverages free-of-charge to patrons who identify themselves as the designated driver during the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day.  


List of 2020 Participating Restaurants and Bars:

Let us know if you or someone you know would also like to participate!


Click on the images below to download and share these free “Celebrate Safely” social media graphics:


The campaign’s “Drive Safe and Drive Sober” message is key at any time of year, and especially during the holidays. If you’ve been drinking, celebrate safely. Designate a driver, call a cab/ride-share/Uber/Lyft, or spend the night where you are.  Make sure to check out the following:
Recipes for the Road: nonalcoholic drinks and safety tips
Mocktails: drink and food recipe cards and videos
Seasons of Safety: traffic safety-themed holiday card collection
Impaired Driving: traffic safety page with more resources and materials


IT’S NOT ALL FUN IN THE SUN

In Florida, you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) if you drive or are in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher – regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. (Sometimes the term “blood alcohol level” (BAL) is used instead of BAC). However, a driver can also get a DUI for driving while impaired to “some degree” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drugs, or any combination of these.

While most DUIs involve driving, it’s possible to get a DUI in Florida without actually moving your vehicle. Florida law makes it illegal not only to drive a vehicle under the influence, but also to “operate” or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle in such a state of impairment. So, for instance, an intoxicated motorist who’s found by police slumped over the wheel with keys in hand could be prosecuted for DUI even though the car never moved.

And like all other states, Florida has “implied consent” laws that generally require all motorists lawfully arrested for DUI to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine) for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in their systems.

Every day, 36 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.  This is one death every 41 minutes.  The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.

Important safety steps we can all take:

  • Before drinking alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver within your group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.