November 9, 2010 - New Campaign Augments Traditional Enforcement Initiative; Thanksgiving themes used to encourage safe holiday travelContact: Sgt. Jill Bennett, MSP Traffic Safety Division, (517) 241-0576Agency: State Police
With Thanksgiving just 16 days away, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is launching a new public awareness campaign using common Thanksgiving terms and images to help reinforce safe driving practices. The campaign's debut precedes the Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) enforcement initiative for the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend.
"We encourage citizens to drive safely this holiday season and this public awareness campaign helps to get the word out by reinforcing safe driving practices," said Col. Eddie L. Washington, Jr., director of the MSP. "The Michigan State Police is one of the founding agencies of Operation C.A.R.E. and has supported the initiative for more than 30 years by dedicating patrols during heavy holiday travel."
Each element of the Give Thanks. Drive Safely. campaign features illustrations of traditional Thanksgiving items to create a connection between driving safely and enjoying the holiday.
"This is the first time Michigan has used this type of illustration in a traffic safety campaign," said Michael L. Prince, director of the Office of Highway Safety Planning who helped develop the campaign. "Our hope is the unique style and vintage feel will help these important traffic safety messages stand out during the busy holiday time."
The campaign includes a 30-second television public service announcement, donated billboards posted the week of Nov. 15, outdoor banners and restaurant placemats. In addition, a special website, available from the MSP home page at www.michigan.gov/msp, provides visitors with the opportunity to send Thanksgiving eCards featuring traffic safety messages to their family and friends.
Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on the nation's highways. It began in 1977, as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today, Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation's longest running traffic safety initiatives. It includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.
Last year, there were 10 crashes and 11 fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday.
NOTE: The MSP will hold a press conference in Lansing on Nov. 22, 2010, at 10 a.m. to announce the start of Operation C.A.R.E. enforcement and discuss the campaign.