I usually agree with their sentiments, but for the most part, I’m doubtful that public health campaigns actually work. Freakish photos of smokers’ cancer, and equating soft drinks to a mound of sugar doesn’t discourage the cravings of kids. But the valiant effort of New York City’s Department of Transportation to create effective speed-warning signs have my sincere best wishes and hopes: The signs, created in cahoots with digital agency The Barbarian Group, display a skeleton walking across the street next to the words “Slow Down” for drivers who are traveling over 30 miles per hour; for those traveling within speed limits, they display a normal, whole human being.
The ads are part of an ongoing campaign to increase awareness that pedestrians have a far greater chance of surviving collision if the car is traveling under 30 mph, and while some people think they’re somewhat morbid, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says that’s the point. At a press conference held last week, he explained:
The idea is to get people to realize that what they’re doing can kill them or kill somebody else…Unless you make it graphic, people don’t get the message.
And this isn’t the first time the DOT has used grim images to promote their goals of better road safety. The billboard below is another example of their effort to drive home the point (no pun intended):
But is getting graphic enough? Four of the billboards will be placed around New York City as an experiment to determine the answer.