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:

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver

The Florida Department of Transportation is focused on Target Zero and the goal of zero deaths on our roadways. District Two’s Community Traffic Safety Program has addressed traffic safety issues in Northeast Florida for almost three decades. We have promoted the Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver campaign and Recipes for the Road booklet since 1998. According to Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), one out of every four traffic fatalities in Florida involves a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs.

2023 Celebrate Safely Poster

Celebrate Safely 2023 Poster

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver and Recipes for the Road focus on the SHSP strategies of both education and insight into creating safer communities, by working with local partners. This includes law enforcement, team members, restaurants, and bars. The goal is to promote responsible alcohol service and personal use at events or party hosting. They also promote safe transportation choices that encourage alternatives to driving while impaired.

Impaired Driving Initiative

The Celebrate Safely impaired driving initiative was created to help reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries throughout the holiday season. Safety messages are vital at any time of year, especially during the holidays. Important impaired driving safety tips and reminders included in this campaign:

  • Before drinking alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver.
  • Never let your friends drive impaired.
  • Get a safe ride home – call a cab or ride-share service.
  • If you’re hosting a party, offer alcohol-free beverages, serve food, and ensure all guests leave with a sober driver.

During the holiday season, District Two Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) members reach out to local restaurants and bars to display the Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver campaign. In the past, materials include 11×17 full-color posters, coasters, stickers, and nonalcoholic recipe books. Numerous neighborhood establishments throughout Northeast Florida participate every year. CTST members, partners, and agencies may click here to order posters and recipe cards for distribution.

Free Social Media Resources

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer” and share these Celebrate Safely images on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to follow and tag us! @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook and Instagram or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 2023
Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 2022 art

This year we have a new poster using one of our retro designs, updated with Target Zero colors and inspirations. There are double-sided recipe cards available for team members to distribute throughout District Two. We also have a unique 12-page flipbook available for viewing online with a PDF download option. In addition to nonalcoholic drinks, there are delicious appetizers, tasty treats, and traffic safety tips for pedestrians, bicyclists, occupant protection, and distracted driving reminders.

Our recipe videos have become very popular – Check out our “Mocktails” webpage! 

Past Celebrate Safely Poster Designs

Impaired Driving Celebrate Safely Poster
25th Anniversary
Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 2019 Poster
2019-2021 Poster
Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 2014 Poster
2014-2018 Poster
Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 2011 Poster
2011-2013 Poster
Celebrate Safely Designate a Driver 1997 Poster
1997-2010 Poster

Impaired Driving Information and Resources

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety was written and presented by Jeff Hohlstein, a Community Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. This educational driving and traffic safety presentation is geared toward aging road users. However, these are essential tips and reminders for all drivers.

Flip through the Defensive Driving Tools for Safety Presentation:

Learn about setting side view mirrors for blind spots. Understand the importance of keeping a safe following distance and obeying the speed limit. Maintaining a safe following distance is a good idea for all drivers to keep in mind. While this rule is flexible and isn’t always appropriate in every driving situation, it can foster good driving habits that reduce the risk of rear-end collisions and similar accidents. In addition, being a safe driver can earn discounts on auto insurance premiums.

Gain an understanding of observing a vehicle’s front wheels, approaching intersections safely, and scanning through a signalized intersection. Learn how to use the OODA Loop while driving. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. When you do it again and again, it becomes a constant decision loop. Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF, developed this rapid decision-making tool. Today, OODA is used by many Armed Forces and Police agencies and can be used as a defensive driving tool for motorists.

Most people set their side view mirrors straight back and miss their blind spot completely. The video covers how to set your side view mirrors to cover your blind spot.

This video discusses how to use OODA to stay safe while driving. Defensive driving is much about managing space around your vehicle. The most controllable area you have is your safe following distance. OODA will help you do that right. OODA will also help you develop scan patterns for navigating intersections and avoiding a collision when someone unsafely enters your right-of-way.  

Uses of OODA in defensive driving:

  • Observe > Following distance, traffic patterns; intersections of all kinds; vehicles around you.
  • Orient > Calculate the following distance; identify other potential conflicts.
  • Decide > Action to maintain safe following distance; plan to avoid those other conflicts.
  • Act > Establish/reestablish safe following distance; avoid those other conflicts whether or not the crash would have been your fault.
  • Do it again > Practice OODA until it’s as natural as driving itself.
Jeff Hohlstein presenting Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Click here to read Jeff Hohlstein’s first article, Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact, and what the video presentation from 2020.

Traffic Safety is Going Green

In honor of Earth Day, and upcoming Arbor Day, we wanted to share a positive change from the devastating COVID pandemic and how Traffic Safety is Going Green. By going virtual for our Traffic Safety Team meetings, we reduced our paper consumption and waste. This simple act of green saved over 30,000 sheets of paper during the last year.

Eliminating printed meeting packages, presentations and newsletters reduced paper usage substantially. Saving the files digitally also allows for team members to view the materials before, during and after a meeting. This is also a great resource for those who were unable to attend the virtual meeting. We saved paper and ink and we offered a new digital service for our Community Traffic Safety advocates.

The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two’s Community Traffic Safety Program hosted online monthly county team meetings, and districtwide summer and winter virtual gatherings over the past year. This gave an opportunity for team members and partners throughout our 18 counties to connect safely, while also reducing their carbon footprint and gas consumption by not traveling by car.

Our Traffic Safety Teams are on the road to safety and happy to go green. With the use of digital devices and online resources, the trend of helping save our planet and going green can continue regardless of where or how we meet in the future.

More Seasons of Safety, including this Go Green for Earth Day image can be found by clicking here.

Walk Safe Activity Card

Presenting our Walk Safe Activity Card. Since last year’s Florida Mobility Week through this October’s Pedestrian Safety Month, the FDOT District 2 Community Traffic Safety Program distributed 15,000 Walk Safe activity cards. They are available for free at all 18 county local library systems in Northeast Florida.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card
Walk Safe – Pedestrian Activity Card with Safety Tips for Drivers and Walkers

This Walk Safe activity card is double-sided with a walking wise crossword puzzle and a walk the path to safety maze. Great for kids, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Libraries are a wonderful place for key traffic safety education and information resources for our CTSP to distribute at no cost to our local communities. Pedestrians and drivers should always pay attention, put phones down, keep eyes up, look, and listen.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Walk Safe, Pedestrian Safety resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

Remember to Always Be Cautious and Pay Attention – Walk Safe!

Walk Safe, a pedestrian safety and educational resource, is part of a series. The Ride Safe, Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

More Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrians are a vulnerable road user. Whether walking for enjoyment, exercise or engaged in work on the roadway, they need to be safe. Our goal is to increase driver awareness and education of pedestrian traffic safety. Click here for more pedestrian safety tips.