Photo, from left to right: Johnathan Cyprien, Scott Lagasse Jr., Mike James and Kenny Knox
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) unveiled the state’s official Roadside Litter Prevention Education (RLPE) Media Campaign, which aims to reduce the incidence of littering on Florida highways, promote pride in the beauty of Florida’s landscapes and educate Florida motorists about the dangers and hazards of roadside litter. This new campaign was officially unveiled in the State Capitol Courtyard with a host of athletes and partners.
Built around the theme, “DRIVE IT HOME . . . KEEP OUR PARADISE LITTER-FREESM,” the campaign enlists professional and amateur athletes from a variety of sports, who will appear in television and radio public service announcements, on print ads, outdoor billboards and in public appearances. Participating in the unveiling were professional football players representing all three of the National Football League franchises in Florida: Johnathan Cyprien, Safety, Jacksonville Jaguars; Brian Hartline, Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins; and Mike James, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition, NASCAR Racer Scott Lagasse Jr., and PGA Tour Champion, Kenny Knox have also signed on with the campaign’s initiative and took part in the opening ceremonial event.
“Florida is an exceptionally beautiful part of our country, but that beauty is marred by thoughtless and careless highway littering. We intend to change that with the DRIVE IT HOME . . . KEEP OUR PARADISE LITTER-FREESM campaign,” said Ananth Prasad, P.E., Secretary of FDOT. “Sports figures are influential role models. We hope, through this campaign, to use their influence to reduce highway littering.”
Prasad was joined by Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Dr. John H. Armstrong, Surgeon General, Herschel T. Vinyard Jr., Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and David Hawk, Chief Operating Officer for the Federal Highway Administration.
“Litter diminishes the aesthetics of the streets, roads and highways throughout the State of Florida,” added Tim Lattner, P.E., Director of Maintenance and the Chair of the FDOTeam Litter Prevention Education Committee. “It is not only distracting to the public, but it adversely affects the safety of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, as well. We look forward to making a difference.”
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera read a proclamation declaring it Florida’s “Drive It Home, Keep Our Paradise Litter-Free” Day.
“Florida is a beautiful state and this campaign will just strengthen our efforts to keep our paradise litter-free,” said Lieutenant Governor Lopez-Cantera. “Let’s continue to ‘drive our litter home’ and keep Florida’s roads clean.”
Although people think of litter as someone else’s problem, in fact, two in five Americans admit to littering in the past month. In additional, half of all littering is unintentional, as in unsecured trash flying out of truck beds. Nationally, more than 25,000 accidents are caused by vehicle-related road debris each year in the U.S.
Litter takes a variety of forms, the three top items littered, according to a University of Florida poll are paper (22%), cigarette butts (18%), and fast food waste (6%).
“The Department of Health enthusiastically supports the Roadside Litter Prevention Campaign,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “This effort not only emphasizes the importance of clean spaces for safe driving, it highlights the opportunity we all have to reduce roadside trash by making healthier choices.”
The three-year campaign will seek to educate Floridians and visitors on litter issues and change their behavior by leveraging the influence of athletes portrayed in high-visibility multi-media campaign with television, radio and outdoor advertising components, as well as community events. The primary audience focus for the campaign will include driving motorists between the ages of 15 – 35.
The DRIVE IT HOME . . . KEEP OUR PARADISE LITTER-FREEsm campaign will encourage Floridians to:
- Set an example and dispose of trash in proper receptacles;
- Carry a litter bag in their cars;
- Never throw anything out of a car window;
- Ensure that trash receptacles are properly covered when placed outside for garbage collection;
- Secure their loads when they carry trash or loose items on top of their vehicles; and
- Embrace small changes, such as picking up one piece of litter a day.
More information about DRIVE IT HOME . . . KEEP OUR PARADISE LITTER FREEsm has been developed and placed on the campaign’s website CleanFLroads.com. In addition, social media sites @CleanFLroads have been created on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Sonshine Communications of Miami is the prime agency selected to work with partner agencies Sachs Media Group, Cunningham Group, Inc., and The Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste under the direction of FDOT for this statewide effort.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is an executive agency, which reports directly to the Governor. FDOT’s primary statutory responsibility is to coordinate the planning and development of a safe, viable and balanced state transportation system serving all regions of the state, and to assure the compatibility of all components, including multimodal facilities. The multimodal transportation system includes roadway, air, rail, sea, spaceports, bus transit, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. FDOT is launching the multi-year Roadside Litter Prevention Education (RLPE) Media Campaign in an effort to support the beauty of Florida and maintain a place that residents can be proud of every day, every year.
The goals of the RLPE media campaign are to:
- Establish and build public awareness of the importance of roadside litter prevention;
- Establish and build strategies for public and private involvement in keeping Florida’s roadsides free of litter;
- Alter driver/passenger behavior by increasing their participation in roadside litter prevention.
For more information on the FDOT Roadside Litter Prevention Education Media Campaign, contact Bernadette Morris of Sonshine Communications at (305) 948-8063, ext. 201 or via email info@CleanFLroads.com.