Rhode Island lawmakers passed a resolution Wednesday to publicly support a statewide effort to promote a friendly, crash-preventing gesture among all road users. Introduced by Representative Lauren Carson (RI House District 75), the resolution came at the request of RI Waves organizers.

RI Waves is a video, outdoor, print, and social media public awareness campaign that has a simple message: all road users can be noticed — by stopping, looking, and exchanging a wave at every crossing. The newly adopted resolution aligns community partners who are looking to help make our roads safer for everyone.  

“RI Waves is a grassroots campaign and its success depends on participation by all road users, as well as many community partnerships,” states Bari Freeman, executive director of Bike Newport, the advocacy organization behind RI Waves in a prepared statement. “We’re especially grateful for Rep. Carson’s commitment to spearhead the adoption of this resolution, as well as continued support from NHTSA, RIDOT, AAA, and RIPTA to help us spread the word — and the wave — among Rhode Islanders.”

“In the last ten years, we’ve lost 139 pedestrians due to car crashes — 13 of whom were cyclists,” stated Peter Alviti, Director of RIDOT at an October press conference introducing RI Waves. “We’re proud to have provided support for this program, which is part of our ongoing commitment of bringing traffic and pedestrian fatalities in this state down to zero over the next ten years.”

To address the serious matter, RI Waves takes a light-hearted approach, with the help of the likes of WJAR’s Mario Hilario, Jim Nellis of RI Food Fights, WaterFire Providence’s Barnaby Evans, and the gargoyle of TEN31 Productions.

The initial launch of RI Waves features four short videos featuring recognizable Rhode Islanders and characters, in addition to print/digital posters and a campaign website. Campaign organizers plan to roll out more video content through the next year.

“We’re happy to be part of this campaign and look forward to its great success,” added Scott Avedisian, CEO of RIPTA at the RI Waves launch. “There will be digital advertising in the interior of our buses and we’re planning on sharing the campaign’s content on our social media platforms and newsletters.”

For more information, please visit www.riwaves.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).