OMAHA In past Speed Zapper reports our WOWT 6 News Speed Zapper crew has flagged down drivers, called bosses of workers caught speeding, and sent data to police. According to one traffic expert, punitive repercussions aren't the best way to create a change. Tom Everson, the creator of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, told WOWT that after more than a decade of research it's clear that real change begins with our own habits.
"The vast majority of our days begin in the neighborhood and ends in the neighborhood," said Everson.
That's why his non-profit organization pushes to create change beginning at the ground level.
"If we're willing to run stop signs in our own neighborhood, and that's where we live, who knows what will happen on other roads where we don't know anybody and we really don't have any vested interest."
Everson has worked with neighborhood group and law enforcement agencies across the country. According to him, the best way to create change is to drill the idea down to a neighborhood level. Everson believes anyone can get involved: school PTA boards, any business that has employees, even neighborhood associations. The approach usually begins with the reason people should drive slower, Everson said that typically begins with two questions: 'Who do you love?' and 'Who loves you?'
Everson's non-profit group has worked with groups and completed studies that prove change begins within our own community. He pointed to an Arizona town that put stickers that said "Drive 25 Keep Kids Alive" on every recycling bin in a city. Weeks after the bins went to the curb a study showed that speeds dropped by roughly 5 miles per hour around the city.
"People started to get that idea that kids can be anywhere, and that this is a safety issue," said Everson.
The WOWT 6 News Speed Zapper crew is going to be teaming up with Everson's group moving forward. You'll notice a tab in the upper right-hand corner of the Speed Zapper page that will link you to Everson's group. In the future, we'll be going over smart strategies that can help you be a game-changer in your own community. WOWT 6 News is encouraging people get in touch with Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 to create change and remember to share your stories with our Speed Zapper crew.