How Far Should Safety Ads Go?


I was struck (pardon the pun) by these new safety ads by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’s (MWCOG) Street Smart program. In addition to the vivid ads (above), there’s also a radio spot that begins with the sound of a screaming pedestrian getting hit by a car. You can download the ads at the Street Smart website.

According to the Washington Post:

[O]n average more than 80 people die and 2,000 people are injured a year in pedestrian accidents in the Washington region. . . .

“The idea of the campaign is to get to the core of the issue. It’s a life-and-death situation,” said Jim McAndrew, vice president of Design House, the firm responsible for producing the ads.

D.C. Assistant Police Chief Patrick A. Burke said risks have increased in recent years because pedestrians and drivers are often distracted by cellphones and text-messaging. “We’ve got to get people’s attention back on the road and the street,” he said.

The ads are put up on bus and transit shelters. The poster at the top of this post is a version of the ad that goes on the side of buses. The purpose of the ad is to shock people into being more careful. Effective? Or too vivid?

Hat tip: DCist blog

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4 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    Imagine not only getting hit, but losing one’s ($4.00+) Starbucks in the process.

    I’d say it’s effective.


  2. Bruce Boyden says:

    Reminiscent of the Volkswagen ads.

  3. The Ace says:

    Like Many Things, Canda probably does it better:

  4. Jason says:

    Not vivid enough. That particular ad looks far too cartoonish. Did they really need the cup of coffee flying through the air to complete the look?