Traffic Safety Coalition and ‘Promise to focus on the road’, Distracted Driving Campaign

Author(s): Anna Mierzejewski

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted):

1B - Mierzejewski


In 2011, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), along with a group of like-minded organizations, formed a Traffic Safety Coalition with a mandate to develop road safety initiatives. The main focus of the coalition is to contribute to traffic safety-based strategies and initiatives – with the mission to build a safer Ontario through collaboration, innovation, education, infrastructure and enforcement.

In 2012, the group launched a distracted driving awareness campaign called MISSING (currently known as Promise to Focus on the Road) with an aim to educate drivers about the range of distractions that lead to collisions and what can be done to minimize these distractions.

The CAA Traffic Safety Coalition is comprised of: Ministry of Transportation (Ontario), Arrive Alive Drive Sober, Sunnybrook (RBC First Office for Injury Prevention, MMIC (Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council), City of Toronto, (OACP) Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, IBC (Insurance Bureau of Canada) 407 ETR, Road Today, CAA South Central Ontario, CAA Niagara, CAA North & East.


Campaign objectives:
1. Advocate for and support initiatives promoting legislative changes to distracted driving policies.
2. Leverage partnerships and their communication channels to promote the campaign.
3. Educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving via online and offline marketing.

• Drivers (18+)
• CAA Members and non-members

The following synopsis highlights campaign activities implemented in recent months.

1. Campaign collateral
• Website updates to www.caasco.com/focus including a promise meter tracking the number of promises made to focus on the road
• Visualization of types of distractions and statistics.
• Brochures, event signage, newspaper ads, video, etc.

2. Marketing, Public Relations and Distribution

Media launch:
• Our 2014 launch was complemented with both York Regional Police and Toronto Police Services conducting a blitz on distracted driving;
• 2014 media coverage included over 250 stories via TV, radio, print news and web news

Social media:
• Facebook/ Twitter: X weeks of Facebook ads, posts, and Tweets, and a Twitter Party encouraging a discussion on distracted driving:
• As a result, #CAAFocus appeared more than 12.2 million times.
• Blogs: Blog posts written by CAA staff, traffic safety experts and reputable bloggers. available at http://blog.caasco.com/
• E-letters delivered to over 400,000 individuals through CAA and the Coalition partners

• Radio PSA, TV PSA, CAA Magazine article
• Traffic Safety Coalition member organization communication channels: Police Services across Ontario, Road Today, 407 ETR, CAA Roadside Assistance, CAA Stores and CAA Driver Training;

3. Advocacy:
• Since 2005, CAA has worked with stakeholders, including all levels of government to build awareness, and work towards legislation to reduce distracted driving
• As a result of CAA’s long standing efforts to reduce distracted driving, CAA SCO participated in the press conference (October 2014) announcing the introduction of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act by the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca.

What outputs came from this work?
Through our work with the Coalition, we were able to increase the awareness on distracted driving and expand our partnerships and future joint venture prospects.

What lessons were learned?
Project management logistics need to be considered when planning programs and executing campaigns involving such a large group of organizations.

How will this information be applied?
CAA has offices/clubs across Canada, and best practices are often shared among the clubs. The Traffic Safety Coalition’s learnings will be applied to other traffic safety education and awareness work that we do.