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Shift Idaho, a different type of driving safety campaign

As the holidays are approaching, you may notice more dangerous driving habits or be tempted to do so yourself. Well, the Idaho Transportation Department wants you to change the way you look at driving. SHIFT Idaho is a new campaign that focuses on engaged driving, no matter what time of year.

Shift Idaho focuses on driving in the moment; free from distractions. It also takes more of a positive approach than a traditional highway safety campaign.

“Typically when you hear government, ‘we’re telling you what to do; we’re wagging our fingers. We’re saying, ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Put this down.’ So with this, we’re trying to focus on the positive. We’re trying to look at the majority of people who are doing the right thing — who are driving engaged; who are driving in the moment. They’re putting down their distractions,” said John Tomlinson, the highway safety manager in the ITD’s Office of Highway Safety.

This call to action has three main points along with personas to go with them. Shifting Behavior, Shifting Thinking and Shifting Focus.

“We want to try to hit every Idahoan. We start with the Idahoan that makes that conscious choice before they even get behind the wheel to drive safe. And then what we do is we spread that to — we want to focus on families and businesses as well,” said Tomlinson.

The goal is to encourage conversations about engaged driving in order to cut down on preventable accidents and deaths on Idaho’s roadways.

“When we hear about all these crashes and things, we want to try to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. That’s our vision, that’s our goal, that’s what we try to do each year — is try to get lower, and unfortunately throughout the nation the trend is going up,” said Tomlinson.

The ITD is looking for businesses and communities to partner with the Office of Highway Safety to get more people fully engaged while driving.

To learn more about the program, visit

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