July 14, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Be on the lookout for a flashy blue-and-white Smart car towing a display emblazoned with the slogan, Grab Your Keys.
The car and display will be visiting community events throughout rural New Brunswick on weekends until October. The initiative is the next phase in the Be Safe and Sound campaign promoting highway safety, particularly among young and new drivers.
"With its objective of engaging New Brunswickers on how to be safe on New Brunswick highways, the Grab Your Keys initiative will certainly be a positive tool in building a safer New Brunswick as we progress on our way to self-sufficiency," said John W. Foran, minister of public safety and solicitor general.
The approach of Grab Your Keys reflects research undertaken by the Department of Public Safety as it developed its highway safety strategy. The research determined that, to reach young drivers and new drivers:
Three university students have been hired to carry out the campaign; two will be on the road at any one time. They will distribute highway safety brochures highlighting five highway safety topics:
Be Safe and Sound is a provincewide social marketing campaign launched last December to change attitudes and behaviours about road safety. It has included a series of television and radio advertisements discouraging drinking and driving.
"Several pieces of legislation have been passed by our government in the past two years to increase highway safety in the province," said Foran. "We are confident that the Grab Your Keys initiative will raise public awareness about the consequences of drinking and driving, lack of seatbelt use, and speeding, and therefore contribute to decrease deaths and serious injuries on New Brunswick highways."
Over the past two years, the Government of New Brunswick has introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at:
The provincial government, a partner in Road Safety Vision 2010, has set a goal of reducing death and serious injuries on highways by 40 per cent.
The Department of Public Safety has developed, over the years, an integrated highway safety campaign that would bring together legislation, enforcement and awareness to change New Brunswickers' attitudes and behaviours with respect to the major causes of death and serious injuries in the province: drinking and driving; use of seatbelts; speeding; and driver distraction.
More information on the Be Safe and Sound campaign is online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Lessard, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267.