I nearly bumped the car this morning, distracted by what looks like a clever teaser campaign. It’s this simple orange on black poster. ‘STOP STARING’ it shouts, while keeping the remaining copy too small to be read without staring. They’re playing crude psychological games, I thought. Telling me not to stare in the knowledge that that’s exactly what I’ll do… but no.
It turns out that driver distractions, not speed, are the major causes of accidents, according to the Neighbourhood Road Safety Initiative. They’re trialing innovative road safety solutions across fifteen local authorities, eight of which are in Greater Manchester, as well as doing lots of research and other, no doubt worthy stuff. But getting design and art direction students to come up with a safety campaign has clearly backfired. To be fair it’s a tough brief. Get a message to drivers without distracting them… hmm. I say, just ditch the long copy and you’re there… there’s no need for explanatory small print.
Anyway. Police in Vancouver have cautioned against playing dead in the road as a means to get attention after breaking down. That’s what we need. Simple, actionable advice that’s unlikely to create a hazard in itself.