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'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.