Campaign Advises Drivers to Use Caution

By John Henrikson
The News Tribune
December 27, 2010

Tacoma drivers may be noticing a series of public-service advertisements around town, urging them to exercise care around bicycles and pedestrians.

The “Drive Nice, Tacoma” safety campaign is placing the yellow-and-black caution-style signs on Pierce Transit buses and shelters and the Link trolley. One sign shows a human outline being bumped by a car, with the slogan “Pedestrians are not hood ornaments.” Another shows an auto-bicycle collision (the rider loses), under the admonishment “Don’t disappoint your driver’s ed teacher.”

“We wanted a campaign that would make people stop and think, so we used very clear and recognizable images,” explained Diane Wiatr, mobility coordinator/urban planner for the City of Tacoma. “We also wanted to take a tone that was humorous rather than preachy and Rusty George Creative developed these ads that we hope really hit the mark.”

The campaign is a joint project of the city and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, which both have an interest in encouraging people to walk and bike – and keeping them safe when they do. The agencies were able to get a grant from the Washington State Health Department to pay the $25,000 cost.

In addition to the ads, “Drive Nice, Tacoma” bumper stickers will be available, along with postcards with the following safety tips for drivers:

  •  Don’t honk at or harass pedestrians or cyclists.
  •  Every intersection is a crosswalk. Expect pedestrians.
  • Use extreme caution in residential areas and around schools and playgrounds.
  • Before you turn, yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • Look for bicycles before you open your car door.
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