News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 10, 2013
More than 1,000 City employees take voluntary pledge to drive cell phone free
The City of Kansas City, Mo., Safety Team developed a “Play it Safe While Driving” campaign in June 2012 as an effort to increase City employees’ awareness of the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving. All City employees were encouraged to attend a presentation and to sign a personal pledge to drive cell phone free. By its close on Dec. 31, 2012, the campaign had garnered more than 1,000 pledges.
City employees attended presentations during which they viewed compelling videos featuring tragic stories about people whose lives were affected by distracted drivers. After sharing additional facts about the dangers of distracted driving, attendees were given the opportunity to sign a pledge to not use their cell phone or text while driving. Those who pledged received a bright orange zippered bag bearing the “Play it Safe While Driving” logo. The bags provide not only a place to store cell phones but also are a reminder of their pledge. More than 60 presentations were given throughout the campaign at locations throughout the City.
The City’s Safety Team selected distracted driving as a target initiative due to the large number of employees who get behind the wheel of a City vehicle every day. National Safety Council research shows that individuals are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash while talking on a cell phone, and up to 23 times more likely if texting.
“All City employees have a responsibility to protect the assets entrusted to them by the citizens of Kansas City. More importantly, however, this campaign is about keeping our employees safe along with everyone we share the road with,” said Eric Hallerud, the City’s corporate safety and risk manager.
As a part of the campaign, the City Council passed a resolution during the National Safety Council’s Occupational Safety Month declaring the week of June 25 as Cell Free Driving Week in Kansas City. Additionally, a video featuring feedback from employees who had attended the presentation was created to help spread the message. It is broadcast on Channel 2 and online on the Corporate Safety Division’s Web page at http://www.kcmo.org/CKCMO/Depts/GeneralServices/Safety/.
The City’s Safety Team consists of Corporate Safety and Risk Manager Eric Hallerud, General Services Department; Assistant Corporate Safety Manager Kristin Danner, General Services Department; Safety Manager Veronica Watson-Perkins, Aviation Department; and Safety Manager Dan Minor, Water Services Department.
The campaign officially ended on Dec. 31, 2012; however, additional presentations are still underway to ensure all City employees have an opportunity to participate.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact Assistant Corporate Safety Manager Kristin Danner at 816-513-1642.