Campaign encourages pedestrian, cyclist, and wildlife safety 

A new campaign to encourage safe driving in Tahoe was unveiled at a used-car-lot like event at Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. The collaborative Take Care Tahoe public education team’s “Take it Slow, Tahoe” campaign captures the attention of drivers and creatively incorporates artwork to remind them of why driving safely is so important: to protect people and animals.

Take Care partners revamped the parking lot at Sand Harbor State Park to appear like a car dealership, adding signage, inflatable tube dancers, and information about how to Take it Slow, Tahoe. Attendees and visitors to the park voted on their favorite messages and engaged with representatives from Take Care Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, Nevada Department of Transportation, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and others about the importance of driving slowly and staying vigilant. In all, over 50 partners collaborate through the Take Care campaign, which encourages sustainability and responsible recreation with fun, positive messages. 

“We hope that this campaign makes drivers settle their pedal,” said Victoria Ortiz, Community Engagement Manager for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “By driving slower, you have more time to react if a pedestrian steps off a curb, a biker swerves to avoid a pothole, or a bear crosses the highway. Plus, it gives you more time to soak in all that Tahoe has to offer.”

According to the June 2022 New Yorker article When Cars Kill, “the average pedestrian, if struck by a car moving at forty miles per hour, has about a fifty-per-cent chance of survival. If the car is going twenty miles per hour, the pedestrian has more than a ninety-per-cent chance.” 

Incline Village resident Helen Neff proposed the campaign to Take Care Tahoe partners after being hit by a reckless driver in her hometown while legally crossing the street in a crosswalk on a clear day in 2021.

“Driving slower makes it safer for everyone,” said Neff. “If these messages can help save someone else from the physical and emotional pain that I suffered when I got hit by a driver, then it will be well worth it.”

You can download and share these graphics to encourage more people to Take it Slow, Tahoe!