For 2022, we are changing the focus of RRSAW from informing the general public to reaching rural road safety practitioners directly. This aligns better with our mission and resources. First, the National Center for Rural Road Safety equips rural road safety practitioners, so we would like to evolve RRSAW to focus on them. Second, we do not have enough resources or time to make a national impact on the behavior of the general public. We can impact practitioners who are already our core audience.
Several new priority topics for USDOT and FHWA have emerged in road safety since last year. We want to promote these themes and help educate practitioners about them. These new themes include explaining the unique safety challenges of rural roads; the Safe System Approach; proven safety countermeasures for rural road issues; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the intersection of road safety and public health. Therefore, these are the daily themes for RRSAW 2022.
These are big topics that require much explanation, more than can be delivered in a social media post. We plan for RRSAW to be an integrated campaign that starts with social media posts and emails to introduce the themes, but then drives people to topic-specific web pages on each theme that include further explanation as well as any available trainings, webinars, and other resources. We will also brief our partners like Road To Zero on the campaign and provide them with graphics and other resources they can share in their channels.
First, our center is promoting an integrated approach to rural road safety that includes all these themes. Presenting them as a “package” is in line with this philosophy. Second, as mentioned, many of these concepts are brand new to rural practitioners. They need to see them all in one place so they don’t get the impression that one is more important than the other, or one doesn’t work with the others.
The goal is to raise awareness on these topics, get them into the national conversation among rural road safety practitioners, and jump-start their education, which will take more time.
In addition to supporting leadership priorities, these themes will also be a major focus of our future content, trainings, and communication. Using these themes for RRSAW 2022 will tee up that focus going forward and match our other offerings. If we can start to plant these terms and concepts in the minds of rural road safety practitioners, that’s a win; we’ll bring them deeper with other content and trainings over time.
We hope you will join this effort and help us get the word out to your organization and networks. RRSAW is intended to be a social media driven campaign, so high levels of social media interaction will be the key to success for RRSAW. We encourage you to use your own social media platforms to extend the reach of RRSAW’s stories and messages:
To be aware you have one. Please help us bring rural road safety to the forefront to save your neighbors and ours.
Thank you Rurals, we love you!