Connecticut Children’s Program Awarded Safe States Alliance Grant to Develop Driver Safety Messaging Campaign

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2020
Media Contact:

Monica Buchanan, Director of Communications
Connecticut Children’s
(352) 219-0860

HARTFORD, CONN.— The national Safe States Alliance selected Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center (IPC) to lead one of four Safety Teams around the country that will research, develop and implement new evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities that result from impaired, drugged and distracted driving.

Luis Rivera, who coordinates the IPC’s Safe Kids Connecticut program, will lead Connecticut Children’s Safety Team, which consists of transportation and injury prevention experts from around the state. Other members of the team include Flavia Pereira, PhD, a transportation planner with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office, Sgt. Gerald Hanson of the Waterbury Police Department, Jim Travers, the transportation bureau chief for the city of Stamford, and Andrew Tucker, PhD, of the UConn Transportation Safety Research Center. Five additional extended team members will support the development and implementation of the campaign.

Safety Team members are now participating in a 15-month program, which includes in-person and virtual training sessions, as well as additional technical assistance and coaching. During the program, they will work with the Cashman & Katz advertising agency to develop a behavior change strategy that applies a shared risk and protective factors approach to raise awareness about driver safety.

“We have assembled an impressive team of experts from around the state and plan to work together to develop messaging approaches that will resonate with those who exhibit risky behaviors while driving,” said Luis Rivera, director of Safe Kids Connecticut and Safety Team lead. “We plan to test potential messaging strategies with focus groups to ensure they will achieve their desired outcomes before debuting the campaign in 2021.”

Safe States Alliance is providing a $35,000 grant to each of the four teams to research and develop these new campaigns.

“I am excited to be part of this team dedicated to improving safety and look forward to sharing these new strategies in Stamford and with other municipalities,” said Jim Travers, the transportation bureau chief for the city of Stamford. “Roadway safety has been at the core of my success advancing Connecticut’s leading cities. Over the past few years in Stamford, Connecticut’s economic hub and fastest growing municipality, we have busily implemented innovative technologies in urban planning and traffic engineering. The Safe States project will help us make our streets even safer.”

The three additional Safety Teams selected for this project include the Center for Safe Alaskans, the North Carolina Department of Public Health, and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

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