Green Ribbon Month
Davis County, Utah
Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)
Speeding through school and residential zones was common, and there were too many pedestrian injuries and deaths.
Green Ribbon Month was started in 1998 by the Davis County Safe Kids Coalition to protect children from being hit by motor vehicles in school zones and crosswalks. Three teenagers were hit and killed in one intersection alone over a period of six years.
A green ribbon tied on a school zone sign.
The project chose green as a color to coincide with the fluorescent green color of pedestrian and school crossing signs, and green ribbons were put up where pedestrians had been killed to serve as a reminder to drivers about the importance of driving with care. Many diverse groups were brought together to work in collaboration, including state and local health departments, the State Department of Transportation, the Utah Parent Teacher Association and numerous schools.
The public awareness campaign included green ribbons displayed on signs, cars, people, fences, trees, and poles. In addition, local PTAs had parents and drivers all sign pledges to drive 5 mi/h under the posted speed in school zones and residential areas, to stop at crosswalks, to yield to pedestrians when making turns, to not pass a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian, and to educate their children about pedestrian safety. Children also signed pledges about safe pedestrian practices. Good media coverage helped the project along, including a publicized press conference with representatives from several organizations and the police department.
Costs of the program were minimal as sponsors -- local printing companies, the health departments, and the Utah Highway Safety Office -- funded the reproduction of posters, information packets, and mailings. Local PTAs spent about $15 to buy ribbons and copy pledge cards.
The project was a success in Davis County and soon spread to the entire state. The State Governor declared September to be Green Ribbon Month, and in the fourth year after the program began, more than 35,000 people participated. Most impressively, pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes decreased every year after the implementation of the program.
Violence and Injury Prevention Program
P.O. Box 142106
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2106
Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian Project Award Application. Violence and Injury Prevention Program. http://www.ite.org/awards/pedproject/ppa022.pdf