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NDDOT: Traffic Safety

Zero Traffic Fatalities Is the Vision; Odney Is Helping Bring It to Life


The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Safety Division sought an agency to provide media services related to supporting state and national traffic safety campaigns, programs and activities. Odney was first awarded the contract in 2016 and assisted the Safety Division in the launch of the statewide initiative Vision Zero in 2018.    
  • Contract Dates: July 1, 2016 – September 30, 2020 
  • Annual Contract Budget: $1,000,000 
  • Contract Dates: October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2024 
  • Annual Contract Budget: $1,000,000 

The Task / Challenge

Working with NDDOT, Odney seeks to change behaviors and influence beliefs surrounding preventable driving behavior most often associated with crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. While the NDDOT Vision Zero program areas initially included seat belts, impaired driving, distracted driving, motorcycle safety and commercial motor vehicle safety, our work has expanded to ten unique traffic safety programs.  
Through our marketing and outreach efforts, the goal of each program is to ultimately motivate the audience to take personal responsibility while traveling to reduce serious injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes to zero.  

The Solution

The complex NDDOT contract pushed Odney to develop and implement an equally complex paid and earned marketing strategy with creative that resonates with the audience to persuade them to choose to follow traffic safety laws. The messages must effectively reach the dynamic mix of audiences through the media they consume. Our strategy includes the following: 
Use research and data to target these hard-to-reach audiences: 
  • Male pick-up drivers 
  • Native Americans 
  • Rural drivers 
  • Young (teen) drivers 
Design and deliver compelling creative that: 
  • Encourages the audience to think about the impact of their choices 
  • Educates that driving choices impact friends, family and the traveling public 
  • Uses real-life North Dakotans to help tell the story 
  • Has a mix of traditional television, radio, billboards, digital and social media 
Grow organic social and earned media presence through: 
  • Consolidated social media channels 
  • Email outreach through a Vision Zero Partner Network 
  • Developing strong local and regional media ties 
  • Using compelling human-interest stories  
  • Using timely post plans, press releases and opinion editorials  
Grow awareness of Vision Zero through partnerships with: 
  • Office of the Governor 
  • The North Dakota Highway Patrol 
  • The North Dakota Department of Health 
  • The North Dakota Association of Counties  
  • The Vision Zero Partner Network  

Enforcement Campaign Video

Vision Zero Logo

ND Vision Zero Logo

The Results

Odney has produced award-winning work for the NDDOT in nearly five years as their communication agency. But ultimately, we must look at the big picture and how our work contributes to the goal of zero serious injuries and fatalities on North Dakota roads. 
The progress (according to NDDOT statistics) shows our efforts are working. Fatalities from motor vehicles have decreased since 2016 to the following: 
  • The five-year rolling motor vehicle fatality average has decreased: 
    • 2012-2016 was 139 fatalities 
    • 2015-2019 was 113 fatalities  
  • The annual motor vehicle fatalities continue to decline:  
    • 105 fatalities in 2018 
    • 100 in 2019 and 2020 
Results from the annual Knowledge Attitudes Behaviors and Beliefs (KABB) survey indicate: 
Respondents reporting they’ve heard, seen or read about Vision Zero increased by 10 percentage points from 2019 (38%) to 2020 (48%).  
Our work: 
  • First agency to be awarded the Safety Division contract back-to-back 
  • Four AdFed (Addy) Awards 
  • Two AAMVA Awards 
  • 70,000 organic video views in one day from a human-interest story 
  • 9,075 website visits and 83,232 click-throughs from one social media seat belt campaign 
  • Increased press releases sent from 29 (FY17) to 43 (FY20)  
  • Google Analytics documents continued site traffic to a 2017 impaired driving campaign on the Vision Zero website, with nearly 90 in January 2021 alone. 

Got Questions?

Bismarck Office:

117 West Front Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58504