01 Aug 2018

How effective are shocking road safety campaigns?

A bloodstained and broken car with smashed windows has been standing in the central square of Skopje since last month. But it's not part of a movie set, it's Macedonia's hard-hitting road safety campaign.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
How effective are shocking road safety campaigns? - NewsMavens
Pixabay. Car crash

Why this story matters:

"They went for a vacation, but ended up in a gorge... Ivan (24) and Ana (19) lost their lives in a car accident," says a banner displayed besides the damaged car.

But are disturbing road safety campaigns the best way to influence drivers' behavior and how is their effectiveness evaluated?

Northern Ireland's anti-speeding campaign video in which a group of children is squashed by a car was so brutal that it was banned from TV before 9 pm. The aim was "to challenge (...) false perceptions that many road users have as to the truly horrifying consequences of speeding," said by the Road Safety Ministry. In another video, you can see a couple sawn in two by a car.

According to Road Traffic Collision Statistics of the Police of Northern Ireland, number of deaths on the roads dropped from 74 in 2015 to 63 in 2017.

Not enough of a decline if you ask me. Wouldn't money be better spent on psychological evaluations for drivers, rather than sensational campaigns?

Details from the story:

  • The Macedonian government launched the road safety campaign "Ova leto, ne letaj -- letuvaj!" (This summer, don't speed -- have a vacation!) in July this year.  
  • Statistics indicate that the summer season in Macedonia is when the highest number of fatal car accidents occur. 
  • Last year only, 155 persons died in car accidents in Macedonia, most of them between 15 to 40 years old.
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