EPB will take on trucking in new highway safety push

WASHINGTON, DC: The government is launching a broad-based education

program to make US highways safer for both trucks and passenger

vehicles, and has hired Earle Palmer Brown (EPB) to run the


EPB has been awarded three contracts from the US Department of

Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to

provide a range of marketing services, from a communications audit and

public relations, to research consulting, partnership development, and

program development and implementation.

The overall campaign will have a twin focus, said Charlie Jones, EPB

managing partner. First, EPB will try to spread the word that safety is

good business and, secondly, tell the trucking industry and the general

public to share the road safely. In addition, EPB will work with

government officials to reduce the number of crashes at places that

report a significant number of accidents.

This is a government-to-business program with an added public-education

element, Jones claimed. He stated that the budget is "a little north of

a million," and that the bulk of the work will be done during the next

two years. Specific activities being considered include trade shows

attended by truckers, media outreach, web and video work, and grassroots


In the past, the DoT was solely involved in a law-enforcement approach;

now it is adding a preventative approach, Jones explained. The goal is

to create more dialogue on the issue of safety. For example, he noted,

most of the attention following a truck crash focuses on the truck. In

reality, the series of events leading to the accident often starts with

actions by the driver of a passenger vehicle. One objective, said Jones,

is to convince motorists that passing or cutting in front of a truck,

given its braking and handling limitations, may be more dangerous than

challenging another passenger vehicle.

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