SERMA "Move Over" Campaign Wins Two PR Awards in 2020
IWIF/Chesapeake Employers won two public relations awards in 2020 for its part in the SERMA Safety Campaign to raise awareness about Maryland’s Move Over law. The two first-place “Best in Maryland” awards were presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Maryland Chapter to members of Chesapeake Employers’ Communications Department in a virtual ceremony in December 2020.
IWIF partnered with the Maryland State Police, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) to raise awareness about the importance of Maryland’s Move Over law. Traffic incidents are the number one cause of death for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders and a leading cause of death for police officers, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Move Over law was enacted to help keep first responders and public safety officers safer on the roads; it requires motorists to slow down and safely move over one lane when approaching disabled vehicles and first responders on the side of the road, especially on Maryland's highways.
Outreach included news releases, public service announcements, social media posts and educational materials, including:
· Web and social media graphics
· 12 x 20” signage atop State gas pumps located across Maryland (see photo above)
Maryland State Police troopers handed out the pamphlets during traffic stops to encourage citizens to learn and understand the importance of Maryland’s move over law. To date, some 250,000 of these pamphlets have been printed and distributed, and an MSP representative reports that, “[The] public is increasingly aware of the law.”