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Georgia DOT Promotes HOV, Work Zone Campaigns

19 August 1999

Georgia DOT Promotes HOV, Work Zone Campaigns
    ATLANTA, Aug. 19 -- The Georgia Department of Transportation
is enthusiastic about two public relations campaigns which are designed to
promote the Georgia DOT's commitment to highway safety, convenience and
efficiency.  At the State Transportation Board Committee of the Whole meeting
held on Wednesday, August 18,  Communications Director Vicki Gavalas told
Board members that the agency is "energized" about both public relations
    The first of the campaigns will revolve around Georgia DOT's High
Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Extension Project.  The project will extend metro
Atlanta's current HOV configuration into the northern suburbs of Gwinnett
County, as the lanes will be built from I-85 to State Route 316.  Georgia DOT
has contracted with three consultants who have created advertising and public
relations initiatives that will not only promote the extension, but also will
encourage the use of existing HOV lanes.
    "Luv the HOV" is the slogan and logo for the HOV campaign.  The
consultants have designed an "HOV Bug," a Volkswagen Beetle that has been
painted on each side with the logo.  The car will be primarily used in
presentations to school children, but the Georgia DOT anticipates that adults
will  recognize the "HOV Bug"  as part of the campaign.
    The other public relations effort emphasizes the importance of motorist
behavior in and around construction work zones.  The goal of the campaign is
to increase awareness regarding work zone deaths of private citizens as well
as Georgia DOT employees and contractors.  According to statistics, three of
every four deaths that occur in construction zones happen to motorists rather
than highway workers. Colonel Bob Hightower, head of the Department of Public
Safety spoke to the Board in support of the Work Zone Safety campaign.  He
cited recent legislation allowing off-duty Georgia State Patrol troopers to
patrol work zones in marked vehicles as the first step in GSP's effort to
promote work zone safety.
    The advertising consultants for the Work Zone Safety campaign introduced a
mascot known as "Cone Man."  Designed like an orange cone used in construction
projects, "Cone Man" will also be involved primarily in education programs for
children.  Adults will be exposed to "Cone Man" as he makes various public
appearances to encourage motorist safety in work zones.
    Paul Mullins, Director of Planning and Programming for the Georgia DOT,
advised the committee of upcoming projects to be let in September.  He also
touched on developments in the Department's rail efforts, and he discussed
updates for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
    Deputy Commissioner Steve Parks apprised the Board of a summary of
information gathered at  public hearings regarding billboard height
requirements.  Parks said a report developed by Georgia DOT to address public
concerns indicates that Georgia DOT is in compliance with federal laws and
regulations concerning billboard heights.