LOCAL

LHSC develops safety program

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has developed a new campaign designed to provide the motoring public with important traffic safety information in a format that's interesting and sometimes fun.

The "Did You Know?" program will rely on traditional media and social media to convey important safety messages to the public.

Did You Know? will be made available to Louisiana newspapers, television and radio stations and directly to the public through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The program will concentrate efforts on lesser-known aspects of traffic safety, with a goal of making highway travel safer for motorists, pedestrians, and motorcycle and bicycle riders.

"Most citizens do what is right and obey the law, including our state's traffic laws," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "However, we've found that quite a few motorists are not aware of some traffic laws. For example, a survey we conducted found that about one-third of those polled were not aware of the law passed in 2009 requiring back-seat vehicle passengers to wear their seat belts."

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission coordinates numerous safety programs with State Police, local law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations involved in highway safety.

The Commission receives most of its funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and, in turn, distributes funds in the form of grants to law enforcement agencies and safety organizations throughout Louisiana. Among the Commission's responsibilities is disseminating safety information directly to the public.

The Commission's Did You Know? postings will be placed on the organization's Facebook page, Twitter account, website (www.lahighwaysafety.org) and distributed to the state's print and broadcast media. Individual postings will be brief and will deal with a single topic.

"The news media in Louisiana has done a fantastic job of publishing and broadcasting safety information provided by the Commission and other safety organizations," LeBlanc said. "We believe the public's stronger understanding of driving issues is contributing to the declines in highway deaths and injuries that we're experiencing in Louisiana."