Brake for Bela campaign kicks off its second year, raising awareness about safe driving this summer
Campaign coincides with summer break for major Denver-metro area school districts
Denver, Colo. — June 20, 2012 — Three years ago, in the summer of 2009, 5-year-old Isabela “Bela” Estes was lucky to survive after being hit by a car while playing near the street in front of her Arvada house. Today, Bela is the inspiration behind a grassroots public awareness campaign, called "Brake for Bela," to alert drivers, parents and children of the increased risk of vehicle/pedestrian accidents during the summer months, while children are out of school.
Tragically, many accident victims do not share Bela’s fortunate recovery. More than 4,000 sons, daughters, mothers and fathers are killed each year while walking in their neighborhoods and death rates from vehicle/pedestrian accidents increase 16 percent during the summer months.
The Brake for Bela campaign launches annually during the last week of May to coincide with the release of most major schools in Metro Denver, and efforts surrounding the 2012 campaign will continue through the end of August 2012. Sponsored by local public relations firm Communication Infrastructure Group (CIG), for which Bela’s mother Kristi Estes works, Brake for Bela aims to heighten awareness among children, their parents and all drivers this summer.
“While we are so happy that Bela is a happy, healthy, fully recovered 8-year-old, her experience deeply affected everyone on our team and moved us to action,” said Karen Morales, CIG owner and longtime friend of the Estes family. “As a public relations firm specializing in transportation and infrastructure issues, this campaign is an important and personally significant way for us to give back to the community that has given us so much.”
The safe summer driving awareness campaign was recognized for its successful social media campaign by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and received a PRSA Gold Pick Award in New Media.
To raise awareness of the campaign, proclamations in support of Brake for Bela are being passed by city councils throughout metro Denver, including Arvada, Brighton, Centennial, Commerce City, Denver, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge.