Through Safe Streets Pinellas, the agency’s Vision Zero effort, Forward Pinellas identified high vehicle speeds to be a significant contributor to traffic fatalities on our roadways. Eighty-seven percent of the roadways on the High Injury Network have speed limits of 40 mph or greater, and account for 67% of all crashes that involved a fatality or serious injury. With this data, Forward Pinellas has been working to identify solutions to improve safety outcomes on our transportation network.
In June and July of 2021, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) completed an educational outreach promotion using targeted location-based Facebook and Instagram ads delivered to mobile devices of people traveling on or near the Courtney Campbell Causeway. This outreach was conducted in addition to direct mailers, business communications, and other organic engagement through social media, traditional media, targeted enforcement, and variable messaging signs. People were invited to complete a short online survey to share their driving experiences on the Causeway, which provided an opportunity for education and to receive feedback from the community.
Because of the initial success of this campaign in lowering vehicle speeds, FDOT expressed an interest in partnering with other agencies to replicate the pilot program to better evaluate its applicability to result in longer-term travel behavior change related to speed management.
Forward Pinellas is working on a similar speed management project here in Pinellas County. Staff is currently working on identifying one or more corridors in the county to include in the project, and will be developing targeting outreach messages that consider lessons learned from the FDOT pilot, the local context, and ongoing Safe Streets efforts. Vehicular travel speeds will be monitored before, during and after the project to evaluate the success of the effort.