Travel with Care’s annual campaign kicked off Wednesday morning in front of the Opelika Courthouse with representatives from all over Lee County.
The theme for the annual event is Travel to the Future and will highlight important, innovative ways to travel more safely.
“The city of Opelika is so proud … to be partnering with Auburn and with Lee County on this event and this campaign,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.
Travel with Care has been in effect in Auburn since 2010, and the campaign’s website said “Travel With Care aims to educate citizens on traffic laws and to encourage safe and courteous interaction between all road users. Since its founding, Travel With Care has addressed a wide variety of road safety issues.”
There are several different partnerships that are helping the campaign branch out from where it started in the city of Auburn such as the city of Opelika, Lee County, Auburn and Opelika City Schools and the Lee-Russell Council of Governments.
At the kickoff event, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and Fuller shared the responsibility of issuing a proclamation to the citizens of Auburn, Lee County and Opelika about the Travel with Care campaign.
“This started almost a decade ago as we got together with our partners over at Auburn University to express our concerns about the habits of some of our people that live in and around our campus and some of the distractions that were going on and the walkability of our campus and just the general safety of more cars and more people, and so we came up with this Travel with Care program and started supporting it,” Anders said.
Focus on change
Because of changes in travel, technology and vehicles, Anders said it is important that everyone work together for safety.
“This year’s focus is on something that folks just frankly don’t like to deal with and that’s change,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones. “One thing about change, it’s inevitable. It’s one of the only certain sure things that’s out there. There are more people on the roads than ever.”
One aspect of change that the campaign will start with is roundabouts. While this is a hot-button topic for residents of Auburn, Opelika and Lee County, the Travel with Care campaign will work toward installing more roundabouts where there are currently intersections.
Jones said that studies have shown that roundabouts ease traffic.
“We’re probably leading the way in some of the engineering changes in particular in our roadways and highways here in the east Alabama area and across the state as well,” Jones said.
The campaign will also touch on traffic laws and pet traveling, Jones said. Members of the campaign will be sharing information at events like Opelika’s Fall Festival and Downtown Auburn Trick or Treating.