Tom Everson, Executive Director of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, intentionally uses the phrase “traffic incident” rather than “traffic accident.” He chooses “incident” over “accident” because 94% of traffic-related deaths are attributed to behavior.
At the June Coffee Chat, Tom shared that the main objective of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 (KKAD25) is to make streets safer for everyone, starting in neighborhoods. KKAD25 implements their mission by educating and engaging the public on road safety. Perhaps their most well-known approach to this objective is their catchy and important safety signs distributed around the world.
Tom laid out several facts, including this one: A person walking who is hit in a 30 mph speed zone is three times more likely to die than one hit in a 25 mph zone (NHTSA). Tom has campaigned across the country and internationally to advocate for decreasing neighborhood speed zones to 25 mph for this reason.
Here’s another fact: 90% of people driving do not stop at an intersection correctly, which results in 200 deaths and 17,000 injuries per year in the U.S. (Safe Kids Worldwide – 2003).
A study by KKAD25, which collected information from police departments across the country, also revealed 80% of motorist tickets issued in neighborhoods are given to residents of the neighborhood. KKAD25 has found that the more beautiful the neighborhood streetscape, the slower people drive; thus, one solution to reducing speeding in neighborhoods.
Tom shared some effective initiatives championed by KKAD25 to help make neighborhood streets safer:
- Participate in KKAD 25 events. They have a few fun runs/walks every year to raise awareness and commemorate loved ones lost to neighborhood traffic incidents.
- Download a free campaign kit to start your own campaign.
- Recommend Tom as a speaker for community events. He is requested as a speaker for events and organizations across the U.S. and internationally to share the mission and work of KKAD 25.
Additional suggestions for how to Make a Difference are found on the KKAD25 website:
- Slow down. Observe the 25-miles-per-hour speed limit.
- Talk with neighbors about your concerns for the safety of neighborhood children.
- Invite your Neighborhood Association or Area School PTA to get involved in starting a neighborhood campaign.
- Request the Police/Sheriff’s Department to do a traffic study to gauge the extent of the speeding problem in your neighborhood.
- Contact local officials (Mayor, Council Members, Police Chief) about beginning a community wide campaign. On-site support for developing a local campaign is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 402-334-1391.
- Post a KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® sign in your yard.
- Encourage local schools to integrate KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® into drivers’ education.
- Businesses can display the Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® logo (via decals or bumper stickers) on service vehicles out in neighborhoods.
Mode Shift Omaha looks forward to partnering with Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 in the future.