Sharing best practices at the Maryland Highway Safety Summit

Traffic Safety Pulse News

On April 12, several high-visibility CDOT traffic safety efforts were shared with attendees of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s annual Highway Safety Summit

Sam Cole, CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager, led a panel discussion focused on the state’s cannabis impaired driving education and awareness efforts, reminding the audience that the overall goal is to engage cannabis consumers with a safety message — not offend them:

  • Tone is important, i.e., humor versus serious. Both have advantages.
  • Avoid scare tactics, stereotypes, condescension.
  • Don’t pair images of death and destruction with marijuana use.
  • Promote positive social norms.
  • Determine whether you want to focus on increasing awareness (law, dangers of impaired driving) or changing behaviors (use ride share, plan ahead for a sober driver).

Multicultural communications contractor, Laura Sonderup, also shared examples of CDOT’s efforts to ensure an environment where every child in Colorado — regardless of their family’s language, culture, or ethnicity — is properly secured in an approved and appropriate restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle. Of particular interest among the Maryland Highway Safety Summit attendees was CDOT’s car seat installation information available in 18 languages.

 “We can always count on CDOT. Thank you for the great discussions. There was lots of good feedback from attendees,” said Deputy Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia Kristin Pettway. And Tracy Whitman, Program Coordinator for Maryland Kids in Safety Seats, remarked, “The multilingual child passenger safety tool is an incredible resource. Thank you!”