Traffic Incident Management Outreach Toolkit:
Sample Press Release
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[Insert Organization's Logo]
SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE FORMAT AND SAMPLE LANGUAGE
This press release template provides an example format and sample language to help individuals, agencies and organizations seeking to support a traffic incident management (TIM) outreach campaign raise awareness about this important traffic safety issue or communicate about related initiatives. Users of this example template are encouraged to customize the highlighted content with regional facts, quotes, anecdotes, initiatives, etc. This example press release is provided as part of the Federal Highway Administration TIM Public Outreach Toolkit. We encourage you to identify current, newsworthy announcements to further communicate your organization's involvement in traffic incident management initiatives.
This is neither an actual press release, nor a form to fill in, but an example of how to take a newsworthy item and link it to the traffic incident management. You are encouraged to customize the highlighted content with regional facts, quotes, anecdotes, initiatives, etc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Traffic Incident Management Program to Fight Rising Cost of Traffic Incidents – Which are up by 85 Percent
[OPTIONAL: insert local program name] Traffic Incident Management programs fight rising cost of traffic incidents by helping to clear roadways faster and protect responders, drivers
[City], [State], [Month] [XX], [Year] – The cost of traffic incidents has sharply increased in only four years says the American Automobile Association (AAA), based on data from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Across the country, coordinated traffic incident management, or "TIM," programs reduce the staggering costs of incidents. Traffic incidents include anything that happens on the roadway or shoulder that affects the flow of traffic.
Part of the national effort to promote safe incident management, the [program/initiative]'s [state/local] goal is to [insert any specific actions/goals; If possible and timely, cite or tie in with related initiatives, such as National Work Zone Awareness Week].
The cost of a fatal crash is $6 million, and an injury incident is $126,000, both up by 85 percent over a four-year period. The costs include lost earnings, medical costs, emergency services, property damage, and travel delays, among others.
[OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL FACTS: Traffic incidents bring other costs to regions as well:
- Traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for EMS responders and law enforcement officers.
- As the largest cause of unexpected jams, traffic incidents account for up to one fourth of all congestion on roadways, due to rubbernecking and blocked lanes.
- The average motorist loses nearly a full workweek (36 hours) sitting in traffic due to traffic incidents.
- Americans burn more than 2.8 billion gallons every year stuck in incident-related traffic —that's nearly 24 gallons of gas per driver.
- Reduced idling means reduced emissions, for cleaner air.]
[Insert quote from your organization to describe how your local efforts build toward national goals for more effective traffic incident management]
TIM responders work together using well-rehearsed procedures to clear incidents more quickly, keeping motorists and responders safer. TIM responders include firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement, towing and recovery, and safety service patrols that consist of highly skilled personnel who provide emergency temporary traffic control at incident scenes.
[Insert name], [insert title] from [insert organization], says TIM programs save lives and money because they help speed clearance of the incident while protecting everyone's safety as the top priority. "Many people think of a courtesy patrol helping stranded motorists fix a flat tire or refill a gas tank, but our TIM safety service patrols are so much more than that. They make sure the right people arrive at the right location to help keep people safe and traffic moving freely," said [Insert name].
[OPTIONAL: But it's not just these "heroes of the highway" who keep motorists safe and our roads operating smoothly—everyone has a role in making TIM work:
- Move your car to a shoulder or safe nearby road, out of the lanes of traffic, if you are in an incident, your car is drivable and there are no injuries.
- Slow down and move over a lane when passing by an incident scene to provide a protective buffer for responders, and the motorists behind you (you can get a ticket if you don't).
- Support TIM programs, including safety service patrols, in our region.]
For more information on [Organization], visit [website for more information].
Get involved: Check out the TIM Public Outreach Toolkit at www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/eto_tim_pse/timtoolbox/.
[Insert any social media links]