WASHINGTON: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded a $1 million, five-year contract to Sonshine Communications. The Miami-based firm will handle PR for the NHTSA's first formal attempt to target the African-American community with highway-safety education. The NHTSA is a division of the US Department of Transportation.
According to statistics, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death among African Americans under 15, while for African Americans between the ages of 15 and 24, automobile fatalities trail only homicide as the leading cause of death.
The campaign will address drunk driving and seatbelt use. Bernadette Morris, president
of Sonshine, said her agency will work to disseminate some of the NHTSA's existing initiatives - Buckle Up America and You Drink and Drive. You Lose - to African-American markets, as well as develop some new programs.
Tweens and adult drivers of children have been designated as the primary audience groups.
In its initial stages, the campaign will involve outreach to African-American media outlets, grassroots organizations, neighborhoods, and churches. The campaign will be called Increasing Traffic Safety Awareness Among African Americans.