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

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.

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. Our new graphic with 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. 

Buckle Up and Slow Down

Digital graphic to download and share. Make buckling up the social norm and driving at safe speeds part of our safety culture.

Please tag us! @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hashtag #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
  • 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
  • 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:

ATV Safety

The Northeast Florida DOT Traffic Safety Program wants to remind all-terrain vehicle drivers to always follow ATV safety guidelines and Florida law. There has been tragic accidents in our communities, especially involving younger drivers on ATVs, resulting in injuries and deaths. Please watch and share the ATV Safety Rules video below. We have also created a free ATV Safety Rules tip card which may be downloaded and printed. The digital file may also be shared on social media.

Click here for the printable PDF of this ATV Safety Rules flyer.

We have created this short video with basic safety rules to share:

Safety Rules:

  • Always use personal safety gear.
  • Only one person on each ATV.
  • Drive an ATV that’s the right size for you.
  • Drive off road only – It’s dangerous and against the law to operate an ATV on paved roads or rights of way.
  • Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the footrests.
  • Adults should supervise riders under 16.
  • Be safe and stay focused.
  • Only ride when sober.

Vehicles of any type, including ATVs, are not TOYS and should not be treated as such. Click here for our “ATV Off-Road Rules” brochure with more all-terrain vehicle safety tips and Florida law (Florida Statute 316.2074):

Below are some great safety messages, information and activities to download, print and share!

Extreme all-terrain safety
All-Terrain Safety Activity – Always wear a full face helmet with eye protection.
Youth activity page related to ATV safety
Off-Road Adventures! Stay Safe on All-Terrain Vehicles + Get Ready to Ride Activity
ATV Safety art
ATV SAFE! All-Terrain Safety Quiz + Off-Road Tips for Kids and Teens

Click here for more information about rural traffic safety.

Happy Birthday Columbia County Traffic Safety Team

The Columbia Community Traffic Safety Team has been on the road to safety for 23 years!

Happy Birthday Columbia County Traffic Safety Team. Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, and Suwannee Counties have been part of FDOT’s Community Traffic Safety Program since August 21, 1997. For over two decades, local law enforcement, emergency service providers, engineers, educators, and partners have been dedicated to preventing crashes throughout their communities.

Watch Columbia CTST’s 23rd Year Anniversary Celebration Video:


A heartfelt “Happy Birthday” and “Thank You” to everyone on this multi-county team, past and present. We thank them for their continued support and commitment to promoting traffic safety. Together we make a difference.

Community Traffic Safety Teams (CTSTs) are locally based groups of highway safety advocates who are committed to solving traffic safety problems. This is done through a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary approach.

Multi-disciplinary means integrating efforts of the four “E” disciplines that work in highway safety. This includes Engineering, Education/public information, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services.  By combining these various disciplines, the CTSTs help to solve local traffic safety problems related to the driver, the vehicle and the roadway.

We celebrate the birthdays of all the teams of the Northeast FDOT, District Two’s CTSP. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more team anniversary/birthday celebration videos.

Read more about our Teams here.

Happy Birthday St. Johns County CTST

Happy Birthday St. Johns County CTST. St. Johns County’s CTST was established on June 26, 1997. We’re celebrating their 23 years of working to keep roadways safe from the beaches to rural communities.

Happy Birthday St. Johns County CTST

Enjoy a walk down memory lane with St. Johns County CTST

Watch St. Johns County CTST’s 23rd Year Anniversary Celebration Video:

St. Johns County in Northeast Florida spans from the Atlantic Ocean at St. Augustine Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach, through historic Saint Augustine, past many new developments including Nocatee and World Golf Village areas, and ending in beautiful farmlands and rural communities. They are dedicated to improving traffic safety for residents and vacationers enjoying one of Florida’s best destinations.

Community Traffic Safety Teams (CTSTs) are locally based groups of highway safety advocates who are committed to solving traffic safety problems. This is done through a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary approach.

Multi-disciplinary means integrating efforts of the four “E” disciplines that work in highway safety. This includes Engineering, Education/public information, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services.  By combining these various disciplines, the CTSTs help to solve local traffic safety problems related to the driver, the vehicle and the roadway.

We celebrate the birthdays of all the teams of the Northeast FDOT, District Two’s CTSP. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more team anniversary/birthday celebration videos.

Read more about our Teams here.