Vision Zero radio ads hit the airwaves

Radio ads urging drivers to join San Francisco’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 have hit airwaves just in time for students heading back to school this week.

The 15-second ads launched on Monday will play in English and Spanish for the next three weeks during traffic reports, said Ed Reiskin, director of transportation of the Municipal Transportation Agency:

“One thing we’ve said over and over again is that we can’t just do this with design or just with enforcement. We need kind of citywide behavior change and buy in and so raising awareness is the first step in getting that behavior change and buy in.

The radio campaign costs $45,000, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.

Earlier this month, Mayor Ed Lee issued an executive directive to the transit agency to accelerate its effort on pedestrian and bike safety projects including improvements on Seventh and Eighth streets, near-term improvements to reduce speeds on John F. Kennedy Drive and developing traffic calming measures.

The SFMTA has already achieved one of the mayor’s directive by launching a comprehensive Vision Zero awareness campaign within 30 days with the new radio ads, said Reiskin at Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting.

Reiskin said staff researched and took a comprehensive approach on making sure the message gets across the audience and how best to reach them.

He added that it was everyone’s responsibility to make sure the roads are safe for everyone:

“It’s not just somebody elses problem that people are getting hurt and killed. It’s something each of us needs to do personally in order to make this change.”

Next month, the transit agency will focus on an anti-speeding campaign.

Reiskin said he was travelling to Sacramento on Wednesday to meet with AAA representatives to continue advocating for automated speed enforcement.