Phase Two of SERMA’s safety campaign involving signage for the State of Maryland’s gas pumps went into effect in April 2016. The new safety messages focus on the dangers of distracted driving and, more specifically, the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. The new signs replaced the previous signs atop many state-owned gas pumps across Maryland.
The signs feature the headline, “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All,” the same slogan used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its nationwide campaign to end distracted driving.
According to NHTSA’s website: “One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage." And, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
With the help of IWIF and several
state agencies, SERMA
launched a novel safety
campaign in spring 2015. The
campaign featured important
messages about roadway
worker safety and is visible on
state-owned gas pumps across
The first in the series of gas
pump signs bears the slogan
“Be Seen and Not Hurt.” This sign focused on the importance of wearing the fluorescent yellow, high-visibility safety clothing for state highway workers and others who work along Maryland’s highways, roads, bridges and tunnels.
The campaign was the idea of Lt. Michael Tagliaferri, of the Maryland State Police (MSP), pictured. As the State Police’s liaison to the State Highway Administration (SHA), Lt. Tagliaferri knows firsthand the risks that fast-moving traffic poses to those who work alongside the state’s roadways.
The new gas pump topper signs were unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony at SHA in Hanover, MD, on Friday, May 1, 2015. The signs have been posted atop state-operated gas pumps throughout Maryland, including Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
Future plans call for the development of additional messaging with other important driving safety reminders, including the dangers of cell phone use while driving and drowsy driving dangers.