In 2005, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) launched the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign aimed at increasing compliance with California’s occupant protection laws. Since then, the annual effort has contributed to a steady increase in seat belt use rates — up from 92.5% in 2005 to 95.3% in 2009.
In order to educate motorists about increased fines for seat belt violations, as well as increased enforcement of the laws, the Click It or Ticket campaign for 2010 was developed.
The 2010 campaign occurred in two waves — the first in May leading up to Memorial Day weekend and the second in November surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. The campaign strategy combined multiple outreach efforts including media relations, paid advertising, social media, PSAs and partnership activities.
As the OTS relied heavily upon law enforcement grantees at the local level to promote the Click It or Ticket initiative, the campaign team developed media material templates and coordinated public affairs interviews for OTS staff in an effort to increase media coverage. To augment earned media activities, paid radio advertising coupled with TV, radio and outdoor billboard PSAs were integrated into the campaign.
Additional components of the 2010 campaign included multi-faceted social media outreach and the establishment of partnerships. The California OTS Facebook page provided a unique platform to promote the campaign and generate conversation around the enforcement mobilization and the importance of seat belt use. The OTS Facebook page also included an interactive quiz that allowed users to select how often they comply with seat belt laws.
Through partnerships with multiple state agencies and entertainment venues, including the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Shoreline Amphitheatre, the campaign extended the number of communications channels featuring Click It or Ticket messaging.
The 2010 campaign generated more than 229 million audience impressions and upward of $3.3 million in added value — more than a 300% increase over the 2009 efforts. As a result, California’s seat belt use rate increased from 95.3% in 2009 to 96.2% in 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,365 California lives were saved at the increased seat belt use rate, which was much higher than the national average.