New bus wrap campaign targets distracted driving
Metro Transit, State Farm and Minnesota Safety Council kick off joint effort

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 9, 2018) - Advocates said today a new education campaign featuring colorfully wrapped Metro Transit buses is among the critical tools needed to reduce deaths and injuries caused by distracted driving.

The new "Eyes Off the Road... Here — Not There" bus wrap campaign — sponsored by Metro Transit, State Farm and the Minnesota Safety Council – urges Minnesota drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones, unless they're passengers. The campaign kicked off today at an event held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The colorful wraps will appear on Metro Transit buses throughout May.

"We need three tools in place to change drivers' behavior and reduce distracted driving," said Paul Aasen, president, Minnesota Safety Council. "First, we must keep building safer roads and vehicles to protect occupants during a crash. Second, our law enforcement agencies need tools that promote responsible driving by requiring hands-free use of phones. Finally, we need efforts like this bus wrap campaign that complement driver education and other programs like 'It Can Wait.'"

Aasen added that bills now under consideration in the Minnesota Legislature to limit use of cell phones while driving to voice-activated or other hands-free modes are essential to helping law enforcement reduce distracted driving.

In addition to Aasen, speakers at the campaign launch included:
  • Lisa Kons, Minnesota Safety Council Traffic Safety Programs manager, who detailed the campaign partnership.
  • Kristine Hernandez, Statewide Toward Zero Deaths Program coordinator, who reported on distracted driving-related crashes, injuries and deaths.
  • Robert Flynn, safety director, Xcel Energy, who discussed distracted driving from a business perspective.
Representatives of the Metro Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety partnership also participated.

Distracted driving fatalities are on the increase – up 18 percent between 2014-15. Today, one in four crashes and one in five traffic fatalities involve distracted driving. Distracted driving is now the fourth most common contributing factor in traffic fatalities behind speed, impairment and fatigue. Surveys show 80 percent of Minnesotans favor restrictions on cell phone use.

NOTE: Digital images of the bus wrap design are available to media upon request.

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