The Ad Council has some new material in its campaign aimed at teenage drivers. In these spots, a comedic actor (Fred Willard in the ad above) in the backseat of a car with three teens cajoles or threatens the driver into slowing down or minding the road. The gist of the campaign, corresponding with the title of its web site, is "speak up or else" -- a name perhaps more suited to hard-hitting PSAs from overseas.
On the heels of New York's Transportation Alternatives report on the human toll of driving too fast, we bring you this highly disturbing ad from the UK Department for Transport's THINK!
campaign, showing the difference a few miles-per-hour can make when it
comes to avoiding a collision. Ideally material like this (Australia
has a similar PSA) would be part of a required curriculum for American
drivers -- not to mention police, prosecutors and lawmakers, who all
too often seem just as unwilling to draw connections between the act of
reckless driving and its consequences.
But we probably shouldn't expect to see this brand of reality TV on US airwaves anytime soon. Instead we get crash test dummy cartoons and spots like this new Acura commercial -- motorist-centric, sanitized and disconnected from the grim truth of auto-inflicted violence.