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‘It Stops Here’ Campaign for Safer Streets Wins Communicator Award

Friday, August 5, 2016


Campaign ad image featuring the text "It Stops Here" and an intersection with cars next to pedestrians using a crosswalk.

It’s not just effective – “It Stops Here” is now award-winning.

The Safe Streets Campaign, which featured that message, won the prestigious Communicator Award of Distinction in the Integrated Campaigns category. The Communicator Awards is judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications in 15 countries.

The Safe Streets Campaign is a collaboration between the SFMTA, contractor MIG and other Vision Zero partners like the San Francisco Department of Public Health, SF Police Department and Walk SF.

The campaign’s message is clear: We know that traffic fatalities are senseless and can be prevented.

According to the SFPD, 64 percent of all collisions between people walking and cars were due to motorists failing to yield to pedestrians. So the team focused a momentous effort to change the behavior of drivers across the city.

The team did extensive research to hone the message. A baseline and tracking poll of driver attitudes was done to measure awareness of pedestrian safety efforts and measure change over time. Initial research found that drivers were very concerned about pedestrian safety. However, individual drivers didn’t think that they were part of the problem.

The campaign worked to change that perception. Campaign staff developed grassroots outreach efforts through street teams and outreach training to community-based organizations. To raise awareness and educate the public, they took advantage of public relations opportunities and press coverage regarding pedestrian safety in San Francisco.

“This was a total team effort,” said John Knox White, an SFMTA senior transportation planner, who spent more than a year leading the planning and execution of the project. “We really drilled deep into the research, worked with our partners, and found out how to change driver behavior to make everyone safer.”

The effort was everywhere for 31 weeks, and ads can still be seen on Muni buses. . The media campaign included freeway bulletins located at prime city locations, wall boards and posters in prime injury-corridor neighborhoods, ads on bus exteriors, general and non-English language radio, and digital outreach in San Francisco and the surrounding commuter counties. Additionally, over 750,000 bonus digital impressions, sponsored email blasts, and a bonus nonprofit sponsorship from KCBS and KLLC were donated to the cause. Police also increased enforcement in specific locations to compliment the media campaign.

A photo of the above ad on side of a Muni bus.
The campaign was seen across San Francisco.


In September 2015, the Department of Public Health reported that the “It Stops Here” campaign, paired with law enforcement, had successfully increased the incidence of vehicles yielding to pedestrians by 3.2 percent.

“In addition to the work we’re doing to hard-wire safety into the streets, we can also influence the software, the behavior,” said Ed Reiskin, our director of transportation. “It’s encouraging to see that this can actually work.”