Why a Safe Driving Campaign?

How did this campaign originate?  The campaign originated from a series of dialogues by people at the International Forgiveness Institute.  They were seeing an increase in aggressive driving and concluded that too many drivers seemed to be focusing only on themselves and their own needs as they drive.


What is the purpose and end-goal of the campaign?  The purpose is to engender this truth in drivers: You are not alone on the road.  You are part of a group as soon as you place your car on the road.  Be aware not only of others but also serve those others by how you drive.  All will be not only safer but also emotionally healthier on the road because aggressive driving actions will be reduced.


Why is the IFI conducting it and what’s the connection between forgiveness and road rage?  The IFI is committed to spreading the idea that all people have inherent worth.  Too many people seem to forget this as they get behind a car’s steering wheel where the attitude seems to become, “It’s all about me for a while.”  Forgiveness and road rage are related in this:  We hypothesize that there is a select group of drivers who have had very unjust experiences against them, not necessarily in a driving context, that has left the scars of resentment deep within them.  That resentment does not magically disappear while the person is driving.  In fact, that resentment can increase while the person drives if others on the road do not drive consistent with the resentful person’s expectations.


Are there core values shared by both forgiveness and safe driving?  The central shared idea between forgiveness and safe driving is this:  All people are special, unique, and irreplaceable and thus all have inherent worth.  We need to drive with this in mind.


Why should I Drive for Others’ Lives?  You should “Drive for Others’ Lives” to begin standing in the truth that the driver behind you and in front of you and beside you together with you and the pedestrians over there and crossing the street all possess inherent worth.  This will quiet any discontent that drivers bring to the driving experience and lessen any displaced anger that can harm unsuspecting others.


What are the advantages of this bumper sticker compared to other safe-driving slogans/stickers? (“Safe Driving, Saves Lives.” ” Alert today – Alive tomorrow.” “Safety Is a Choice You Make.”) All of these other slogans are good and important. The central difference between “Drive for Others’ Lives” and all others is this:  The other slogans focus first **on the self, on the driver.**  If the driver can be alert, then what follows is a **consequence** for others, which is safety. “Drive for Others’ Lives,” in contrast, **begins with the other** and ends with consequences for the other.  In other words, our slogan is not about “me” and **then** the other.  Ours is about the other and for the consequences of the other.  We need to start with a focus on “other” because too many drivers’ attitudes start with the self, with “me” and this may or may not then lead to an important focus on “other.”  We need this focus on “other” because it is too scarce in drivers’ attitudes and we all are special, unique, and irreplaceable, thus worthy of drivers’ attention.


Is there a message here for teen drivers? For those who drink and drive?  Yes.  A focus on “other” is a developmentally mature thought.  It does not come easily, in other words.  Research shows that adolescents can at times engage in egocentric thought, which is an over-emphasis on self.  This does not mean that all adolescents do this or that even some are continually doing this.  It does imply that we have a challenge to help the young grow in their sense of “other.”  Our bumper sticker is meant to foster this important development and to engender a sense of responsibility toward “the other” in the teen driver.  It would be good if parents and the state drivers’ license organizations sees this and aids the development of adolescents in this area.  Regarding those who drink and drive, is their focus on self or other?  They, too, need the challenge to grow in their sense of “other.”


What will a successful campaign look like?  When people start to place the bumper stickers on their bumpers, this is a sign that they see the importance of our message and wish to spread it to others.  A successful campaign should lead to reduced anger in those drivers who have ongoing resentment from past injustices against them.  A successful campaign should lead to a more positive driving experience for potential victims of angry drivers with fewer tailgating experiences, or people cutting them off in traffic, or honking the horn in an unreasonable fashion.


Campaign message we want to deliver related to the stickers, their relevance to forgiveness, and what we’re hoping to accomplish with the campaign:
There are two goals for this bumper stick campaign.  First, and most fundamentally, we are interested in continuing to educate people regarding the theme of “inherent worth” of all people.  This idea of inherent worth is basic to all of our Forgiveness Education curricula from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.  Prior to people forgiving well, we first want them to train their minds to see that all people have worth: they are all special, unique, and irreplaceable. The expression, “Drive for Others’ Lives,” falls within the category of the inherent worth of all.


The second goal is to begin laying the foundation for our future research regarding the road rage.  It is our contention that too much road rage is caused by an embedded anger or resentment (that may have been long lasting) which the person is bringing to this traffic event.  In other words, people may be quite angry about something might have happen, for example, three years ago and they bring that discontent on to the road with them.  We think that forgiveness intervention (for past hurts and continued resentments) may be very effective in quelling current road rage behaviors.


Join us in this life-saving initiative: We have created levels of sponsorship (outlined below) so that benevolent foundations, corporations, organizations, and individuals can join the Safe Driving team. The years listed below indicate the length of time the sponsors’ names will be posted on the IFI Bumper Sticker Campaign webpage based on the amount of contribution.


Sponsorship Levels:

  • Lifetime – $1 million and up, for unlimited years
  • Platinum – $300,000 for 3 years
  • Gold – $200,000 for 2 1/2 years
  • Silver – $100,000 for 2 years
  • Bronze – $50,000 for 1 1/2 years
  • Premiere – $25,000 for 1 year
  • Stars – $12,000 for 8 months
  • Valuable Contributors – $6,000 for 6 months
  • Friends – $1,000 to $4,000 for 3 months
  • Supporters – $999 and below for 2months
Thank you to all those who have helped make this campaign such a huge success!