Kentucky TV station, Ol' Blue team up for safety public service announcement

| Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Drivers in and around Bowling Green, KY, may be more careful and safer these days, thanks to a public service announcement featuring the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement agency and Ol’ Blue, USA.

The announcement came about as a unique collaboration between WBKO’s news staff and R.J. Taylor, founder of Ol’ Blue, USA, a trucking industry highway safety program, which is based in Van Nuys, CA.

“It couldn’t have happened without WBKO’s help,” Taylor said. “They invested a lot of time and resources in this. They believe it’s important that their viewers know how to safely share the roads with all kinds of big vehicles, not just trucks, and how to respond when they see law enforcement and emergency workers rushing to help someone.”

The footage was shot in May when Taylor and Ol’ Blue, USA’s centerpiece 1951 Kenworth were in Baltimore for the North American Truck Show. WBKO had covered a school visit the previous March in Bowling Green while Taylor was en route to the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The story featured an interview with elementary school students, featuring a little girl who recalled the Ol’ Blue “lesson” in detail, including advice such as drivers should leave windows open about an inch so they can hear emergency sirens.

“They said they ran the segment for two days,” Taylor said. “Several law enforcement officers told people from the station that after that, it seemed easier for emergency vehicles to get across town.”

After that, an Ol’ Blue, USA, volunteer, Beverly Steele, began discussing the possibility of WBKO’s helping produce a public service announcement for the safety program. The opportunity came at the end of the North American Show in early May, when Cliff Cothern, a writer/producer at WBKO, and Tammy Martin, the station’s public relations director, agreed to help.

Taylor requested the assistance of Lt. Glynn Powers and Officer Jeff Jewell with Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement.

The TV team taped about two hours of on-highway footage.

The finished product began airing in Bowling Green in August. It will run for a couple of months, then after a break will air again late this year. The announcement, and the earlier WBKO interview, are both available online at www.olblueusa.org .

Founded in 1986, Ol' Blue, USA, (United Safety Alliance Inc.) a non-profit public charity, is dedicated to educating the nation on highway safety and improving relations between law enforcement, commercial drivers and the motoring public. During its National Safety Tour ‘Ol’ Blue’ pulls a 53-foot “Rolling Billboard” trailer featuring sponsors’ logos and those of the California Highway Patrol, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Nevada Highway Patrol and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ol’ Blue, USA, conducts simulated truck inspections at trade shows and truck stops, and also takes various programs to community events and public schools in an effort to teach safety around all large vehicles.

Major sponsors include Shell Rotella T, Michelin Tire, Alcoa Wheel, the Mid-American Trucking Show and The Truck Show – Las Vegas. Other contributors include Truck Writers of North America, Fleet Equipment Magazine, L.O.A.D.S., Midnight Trucking Radio Network, Movin’ Out, North American Truck Show, the Open Road Café on Sirius Trucking Network, The Trucker and Trade Show Television Network and WBKO-TV.

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