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Tony Seaton supports Tennessee's new traffic safety campaign

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The Tennessee Department of Transportation is launching a new $11.5 million ad campaign targeted at a variety of driver safety initiatives, including drunk driving, motorcycle safety, and seat belt use. The new campaign comes on the heels of a previously scrapped campaign that resulted in sexism accusations.

Tony Seaton, a motorcycle injury attorney in Johnson City, was no fan of the previous campaign but supports the new effort. "The previous campaign seemed to celebrate drinking and included some inappropriate comments about women. I'm glad they got rid of it," he explained. "However, I do think it's critical that TDOT make a proactive effort to educate the public about highway safety. I'm anxious to see what they come up with."

The former campaign had focused on coasters and flyers in bars and restaurants, as well as a website. Many of the marketing materials had language about women becoming more attractive as a person became more intoxicated. Another coaster suggested that if a person's judgement in hitting on women was impaired, then they were also too impaired to drive.

"I think the previous campaign was too focused on being funny rather than drilling down on the core message of being safer on the roads," Mr. Seaton exclaimed. "Highway safety is too important to joke about."

Mr. Seaton added that he hopes motorcycle safety is a major component of the campaign. "I've seen too many motorcyclists who have been severely injured in highway accidents," he continued. "Motorcyclists are so vulnerable on Tennessee's roads. And we don't have enough car drivers who pay as much attention to motorcycles as they should. I hope this campaign emphasizes the point that drivers need to safely share the state's highways with motorcycles."

The campaign is expected to start in December 2015 and run through December 2020. The ad agency managing the campaign also runs similar campaigns for Texas, Maryland, and Virginia.

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