Outreach Support: Implementing a Stop Red-Light Running Program

Red-Light intersection with mountain - Photos by Brian Malone (used with permission)In 1995, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) created the Stop Red-Light Running Program to help educate the public on the dangers of red-light running and increase enforcement at a grassroots, community level. A key platform of this effort is National Stop on Red Week, which takes place annually the first week of Augus, and during which communities across the country bring national visibility to this deadly traffic problem and step up enforcement efforts.

In 1998, DaimlerChrysler and the American Trauma Society (ATS) joined the FHWA to bring the program nationwide. Since its inception, the Stop Red-Light Running program has been piloted in numerous communities, with an average decrease in red-light running in those communities of 15%. While this partnership is no longer active, FHWA makes all of the materials developed to help communities launch successful Stop Red-Light Running programs available. Communities with successful programs launch an annual marketing and enforcement “campaign,” often in conjunction with National Stop on Red Week, to combat red-light running.

Stop Red-Light Running programs are intended to be unique to each community, based on its readiness to implement the program and its local planning calendar. However, all programs should follow a logical sequence of events. Each community can build their program upon national events for increased media attention and public awareness.

The following Step by Step Guide links can help both new and experienced Stop Red-Light Running program coordinators successfully implement a public information and education program/campaign in their community.

  • Program Overview: Provides example goals, program objectives, strategies, target audiences, etc. of a community Stop Red-Light Running Program.

  • Program Funding: Provides tips for obtaining funding for a community Stop Red-Light Running Program including federal funding options for supporting a Stop Red-Light Running program, grassroots fundraising, and in-kind donations from companies and organizations.

  • Organizing a Coalition: Provides tips and tools for organizing and obtaining key stakeholder support for a Stop Red-Light Running Program stakeholder coalition, including tips for sharing responsibilities and resources to ensure all members receive maximum benefit. Includes example letters to recruit potential coalition members.

  • Pre-Program Assessment: Before launching a Stop Red-Light Running Program, it is important to understand the problem. This section provides specific good practices for conducting a pre-program assessment as a precursor to launching a Program.

  • Media and Public Relations: Find specific tips and tools, including example marketing materials such as key messages, press releases, public service announcements (video, radio and print) and other resources to help a community implement a Stop Red-Light Running Program.

  • Program Launch/Campaign Kickoff: A campaign kickoff of some type, especially if combined with a press conference, will be likely to attract the attention of the local media and result in the majority of your campaign’s media placements. This section provides tips for planning a press conference, which apply also to campaign kickoff event events in general.

  • After the Launch: Continuing the Momentum: Media and outreach efforts shouldn't stop after the press conference is over - they should continue at the same pace to maintain momentum and build program equity in the community. Here are some actions that should help keep the program going strong.

  • Ongoing Evaluation: To ensure program effectiveness, your coalition needs to collect data of the same type and in the same format as was done before the program was launched. This section provides information to successfully evaluate the effectiveness of a community Stop Red-Light Running Program.


Marketing/Outreach Support Materials
Government and community leaders are welcome to reuse the materials developed to implement a Stop Red-Light Running Program or Campaign at the State or local level using the Step-by-Step Guide referenced above.

Ten Activities for National Stop on Red Week
The success of this week depends on local efforts around the country. This link provides a list of 10 activities you can coordinate to help promote National Stop on Red Week in your community.

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Program Contact

Jeffrey Shaw


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