Metro launches ‘Kids are everywhere. Drive like it” campaign

Posted by on March 22nd, 2021 at 12:21 pm

(Sampling of campaign graphics.)

With the current cover of Willamette Week screaming “You’re Driving Too Damn Fast” on newsstands citywide, and less than a week since Oregon Walks released a groundbreaking report on fatal pedestrian crashes, Metro has just launched a new marketing campaign aimed at getting drivers to slow down.

“Kids are everywhere. Drive like it.” it the name of a new campaign created by Metro’s Safe Routes to School program and partner organizations from throughout the region.

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The timing coincides with many schools re-opening to students and staff after spring break. While traffic around schools is set to pick up, the roads are still less traveled than usual given that most people are still working from home. Government officials are rightfully nervous that the disturbing trends of dangerous driving and the increase in school traffic will have one of two outcomes: Either more people will be injured and killed in crashes, or many people won’t choose to walk and bike because they’re afraid of other road users.

The Metro campaign is meant as a toolkit for advocates and others who want to help spread the safety message. The official campaign page says,

“Although in-person school may not be in session during the COVID-19 pandemic, our kids are still walking, biking and playing in-and-around our streets. This campaign has been designed to provide you with all of the materials you’ll need to effectively engage parents, friends, family and neighbors in the campaign, including materials for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, and even virtual meetings.”

Updated materials and graphics will come out later this summer and fall. Check out the campaign page to download and share the graphics on your platforms.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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cmh89
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cmh89

I was driving down N Willamette yesterday. I was behind two cars, the front one was trying to turn left onto N Portsmouth. The car behind me passed all three of us by driving into the bike lane /excess parking space and then continuing straight through the intersection.

We are far past the point of these stupid marketing campaigns. People drive like that because they don’t care about anyone but themselves. This is just throwing away money that could be spent on curb build-outs.

marisheba
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marisheba

Some people are irredeemable jerks, and maybe that guy was one. But everyone is a jerk in some contexts, where we just haven’t effectively thought through the alternative perspective, and so most people drive according to a lot of bad cultural ideas. I have many friends who are lovely, generous, and compassionate in any number of ways, but who also treat any impediment to their divine right to drive from point A to point B as quickly as possible as a crime against them. It’s not like these people don’t also walk places, and some are cyclists too, but our culture doesn’t teach us to really get how dangerous cars are to people walking and biking. I don’t know what the answer to that is, since I think ads like this don’t work, and may even backfire by being preachy and quaint. But the problem isn’t that so many drivers are jerks, it’s that so many drivers genuinely don’t understand their impacts on/dangers to pedestrians and cyclists.

Adam
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Adam

Is this just something being done to justify someone’s job? What data are there that campaigns like this are measurably effective at prompting people to drive slower? My hunch would be not at all. The naïveté is astounding when juxtaposed to headlines about psychos mowing people down in residential streets.

1kw
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1kw

On packs of cigarettes in Australia there are high pixel pictures that take up a whole panel of the box…a diseased lung, shriveled smoker heart, even premature baby…etc. It is disgusting and disturbing, EXACTLY what it should be. Why can’t we put a few less cartoony billboards up in these spots that GET PEOPLES ATTENTION?

Rain Waters
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Rain Waters

A pictures worth a thousand agendas