LADOT Wins Emmy for Powerful “Watch the Road” P.S.A.

Given how we’ve mocked LADOT’s previous Emmy Award Winning P.S.A., you might think this headline was sarcastic, but it’s not.

The above Public Service Announcement, a surprisingly graphic advertisement that delivers a powerful message that no matter who is legally "at fault" drivers need to watch the road carefully or they could end up with blood on their hands. For pedestrians, the advertisement delivers a warning to look both ways, after all they’re the ones who’s lives are literally on the line.  For drivers, a plea to drive more slowly when children are nearby.

The video starts with a warning that the video may not be suitable for minors before we hear a child introduce herself:

Hi, I’m eight years old.  In the next fifteen seconds, I’m going to get hit by a car.  Look both ways before crossing the street.  Drive with caution around kids.  Traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility.  Watch.  The.  Road.

In the moments before the Watch the Road tagline, we see the young girl who narrates the commercial chase after a ball and get slammed by a passing car.  The windshield implodes before we refocus on a gurney wheel rolling past a shoe.

Given the "cartoon violence" we’ve seen in some past P.S.A.’s, this new advertisement shows an agency willing to take a risk to prove a point.  The only complaint I have is that this P.S.A. ran in 2008 and I never heard of it until today!  Memo to LADOT, get this one up and running again!

7 thoughts on LADOT Wins Emmy for Powerful “Watch the Road” P.S.A.

  1. Pathetic!

    All this says is, “watch the road for jaywalking kids that dart out into traffic”; not that a driver can really do anything about such a situation.

    An excellent PSA would have show a distracted or speeding driver blowing through a red light or ignoring a pedestrian in a crosswalk with the same results. That is something drivers can actually prevent!

  2. They must be giving out awards just for showing up!

    Why not point out that there is too much parking, blocking the view of motorists and of pedestrians so that they are unaware of each other.

    Why not point out that the speed of the motorist is inappropriate for a “shared street” environment. In one shot, the car is a half car length away from the little girl, in the next shot it hits her at full speed, fast enough to send her flying.

    If this motorist lives in the neighborhood, why the speed? If this motorist doesn’t live in the neighborhood and is just shooting through as a short cut, it’s at the expense of the community.

    If the target audience is children, the message is clear, but it’s not for children.

    If the target audience is motorists, the message is foggy.

    Missed opportunity!

    “Slow down and drive a speed appropriate for the environment! Anticipate children in a residential community and quit using our neighborhoods as cut-throughs to your too-big, too-far non-local home.”

  3. Gee, why am I not suprised the the “MUST MOVE MORE CARS” crowd at LADOT would spend money (they have money??) on a spot like this which, of course, blames the pedestrian.

    Like SoapBox points out above, the car is moving too fast.

    Say LADOT, why not run some of these P.S.A.’s? All it would cost would be the licensing and some editing to add in your logo. Oh, I forgot, you wouldn’t want to paint the automobile in a bad light; and none of you would have the balls.

  4. I live right next to a park, and the LADOT’s got (1) no crosswalks and (2) high speed car traffic blasting inbetween my house and the park.

    You can blame “not looking out” only so much when it comes to traffic deaths.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Battle of the Bike Safety P.S.A.’s: LADOT vs NYCDOT

Even without the taglines at the top of the video, I’m guessing that you could figure out which city’s P.S.A.’s were a strident warning to drivers to pay attention or they’re going to kill someone and which city’s compared cyclists to insects. Over at NYC Streetsblog, Brad Aaron notes that these new advertisements "don’t flinch" […]

Villaraigosa Debuts “Give Me 3” Video P.S.A.

After the initial launch of the “Give Me 3” Public Service Announcement campaign, the poster portion of the campaign has come under some fire because many of the posters that have been placed at transit stops around the city are facing away from traffic.  Proponents of the campaign have argued that the posters are just […]

Ad Nauseum: Really? Zombies?

Last week, the California Highway Patrol and California Office of Traffic Safety unveiled their newest Public Service Announcement Campaign encouraging drivers not to drive while distracted.    Using zombies as the protagonist, the ads attempt to link unsafe driving practices to the driving dead. The ad-campaign is based around research showing that talking on a […]

Friday StreetPoll: Pick the Best Roadside P.S.A.

If you’re a fan on road signage as traffic calming, then 2011 is shaping up to be quite a year for you!  First the Department of D.I.Y. rolled out some signage attached to power boxes around the city asking drivers to “Please pass with care.”  Later in the summer, the collaborative efforts of the Bike […]