The Law Enforcement Social Media Blog
Distracted Driver Social Media Campaigns: Live-Streaming Video
The month of April is recognized as Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Through the positive efforts of law enforcement to bring attention to this problem, other countries also recognize this epidemic and are helping to reduce drivers from being distracted. Public information officers, police officers, and others assigned to manage their law enforcement social media platforms can make this effort even stronger by publishing content throughout the month of April, aimed at keeping the drivers in their communities safe.
A Different Type Of Article
There are plenty of articles on the web explaining the dangers of distracted driving, however, this article is meant more as a resource for social media managers from all types of industries to use in their preparation for creating content for distracted driving.
Whether you are managing police social media, or posting content for travel industry social media, we all need to do our part to help end distracted driving.
Resources For Distracted Driving
Thankfully, there are growing amounts of information available on the internet about this problem. Here are the best resources we found suitable for law enforcement's use on social media:
Streaming Video Concerns
From Hollywood celebrities to the Instagram influencing teen down the street, we're seeing so many people who believe it's okay to stream a video while operating a motor vehicle. Some of them believe if they aren't looking at the camera, then it's not dangerous. They couldn't be further from the truth because of the simple fact - their attention is divided.
Answer The Questions Being Asked
The purpose of posting content about distracted driver is to save lives. However, your content needs to be good enough to compete with paid marketing efforts on social media, as well as people, agencies, and organizations with large followers and subscribers. Only relevant and good content will gain momentum online, thus increasing your potential to reach more and more of your community. In researching the questions being asked about distracted driving, we found the following:
- Do people realize how dangerous texting and driving is?
- How many states have laws against texting while driving?
- How dangerous is it to text while driving?
- What are some examples of distracted driving?
- What distracts people while driving on the road?
- Is there a way to stop teenagers from texting while driving?
- My mom keeps texting and driving. How do I get her to stop?
- How to get my dad to stop texting and driving?
Notice something? These are the top questions being asked when searching distracted driving topics on the internet. It seems that people are only concerned with texting and driving, as opposed to anything distracting, as a whole.
This is where you need to hijack a term. For example, you could capitalize on the first question, "Do people realize how dangerous texting and driving is?" by using that on a graphic or an opening tweet or post, followed up with something like, "No. Because they're too busy live-streaming a video while they drive."
Ideas To Get The Point Across
- Do an on-camera interview with local teens about distracted driving
- Consider interviewing family members of injured motorists or pedestrians who were involved in a distracted driving accident
- If you are not a public safety entity, consider a "partnership" with your local law enforcement agency to show your support in ending distracted driving and your support for law enforcement
- Team up with a local restaurant to offer a discount or free meal to anyone who makes a social media video about not using their mobile devices while driving
- Consider a series of photos or videos of high-stress, critically important tasks being attempted while distracted by a phone. For example, a picture of a surgeon about to perform heart or brain surgery, while watching a video on a phone held up by a surgical nurse. Add some text which draws the similarities back to distracted driving.
This video was made a few years ago by the Azusa Police Department, through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The entire filming was done within a few hours using members of the community who were fans of the department's social media efforts.
Don't Set Yourself Up For Embarrassment
There is nothing worse than an a police officer photographed or on video, doing the opposite of what we're talking about; distracted driving. We've heard and seen police officers, both on and off duty, making videos while driving their vehicles. This is a complete slap in the face to victims of distracted driving accidents, and your colleagues who are trying their best to get people to stop this behavior.
Our favorite is the selfie done while driving, and wearing sunglasses. As you look at the reflection in the sunglasses, you can clearly see the person is on the freeway, in the number 3 lane, doing 70 miles-per-hour.
Have Your Responses Ready
Whenever you do a campaign which could draw comments from people with differing opinions, be prepared for the onslaught of comments and questions, some of which you could have never imagined. These camps are generally;
- SUPPORTERS - They will support your efforts and may be comprised of family members of distracted driving victims, parents, and others who care about the safety of their community
- OBSTRUCTIONISTS - These are the people who will give their version of legal advice, contradictory opinions or facts, or explain how law enforcement can or can't do certain things. An example of these type of people are those who tell others the police are required to "read you your rights" when arrested.
- HATERS - These people sincerely do not like the police and become personally irritated when they see or hear law enforcement making positive advancements in their messaging, reputation, or community relations
Need More Resources? Meet These Influencers
Sergeant Neil Dewson-Smyth
Cheshire Constabulary in the United Kingdom
With over 28 years experience in law enforcement, #DontStreamAndDrive was started by Neil in 2016 and has grown to reaching over 100 million people. Neil is passionate about ending video streaming or recording while driving, and has the research and statistics to back up what he's saying. You can contact Neil via his handle, @SgtTCS on Twitter, Facebook, or The #DontStreamAndDrive Website.
Attorney, Speaker and Author
With over three decades of legal expertise, Mitch Jackson is a personal injury attorney in Southern California who has seen the devastation distracted driving can cause people. In social media, Mitch has been a leader in promoting the dangers of distracted driving while using not only live-stream video, but any form of social media. You can contact Mitch on Twitter or through his website, The Streaming Lawyer.
Joel D. Feldman
Attorney and Father of Victim
Following the death of his daughter Casey by a distracted driver in 2009, Joel has become one of the leading advocates for safe, non-distracted driving in the U.S. He worked with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to develop a scientifically-based distracted driving presentation, which has been seen by more than 250,000 people in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about Joel, visit his website at EndDD.com.
Most Recent Publications
Here are the most recent publications on the topic of distracted driving: