LADOT P.S.A. – Same Crash, Different Perspective

So, a lot of you didn’t like the Emmy Award Winning P.S.A. put out by LADOT in 2008 which showed a young girl getting hit by a speeding car because it put too much of the blame on the girl and not enough on the driver.  I thought it was a powerful piece, maybe because as an expectant father any image of a child being mauled by a vehicle is going to get my attention, and many commenters thought it was a missed opportunity to make a point about dangerous driving.

Fair enough.

But to be fair to LADOT, yesterday I was only covering the advertisement that won the Emmy.  Above, is a companion announcement focusing only on the driver’s role in the crash.  If I were an Emmy voter, I would have voted for yesterday’s featured ad over this one because the voice-over from the driver in today’s sounds a little off to me:

My God!  How did this happen?  As a child, I was always in a hurry.  As I got older, I was always distracted.   And in the next second, I’ll kill a little girl.

Then, the same film of a young girl in a pink soccer uniform getting slammed into by the driver is shown before the voice changes to another man, presumably one of the police on the scene.

Good driving behavior starts at an early age.  Traffic safety is everybody’s responsibility.  Watch the road.

  • Yeah, that one’s pretty clumsy and heavy-handed. It would have worked far better if they would have just shown the accident and the driver’s reaction — that would be far more powerful.

  • Nancy

    Notice how no one got killed when he was distracted while riding a bike?

    This commercial properly gives me the impression that cars are seriously dangerous vehicles.

  • I remembered and tracked down an interesting quote that kinda shows that, even as gruesome as these videos are, they’re possibly unrealistic. Maybe it’s actually worse for kids getting hit than these videos show!

    From the chapter “The safety of walking and cycling in different countries” by Barbara Preston – in the book ‘The Greening of Urban Transport’ (edition II) edited by Rodney Tolley (published in the UK by John Wiley & Sons, 1997):

    “A very young child hit by the front of a vehicle may receive a head injury which is lethal, or may be knocked forward, run over and stuck under the wheels of the vehicle, which may be very serious. The proportion of fatal and serious casualties that are fatal is therefore higher for those under 3 years of age than for the middle aged. For taller people the initial impact will be to the legs and so will be less serious than a head injury, though, depending on the speed, the pedestrian may then swing forward onto the … hood … and the second impact may be against the windscreen. The driver will then slow down and as the car stops the pedestrian will not and will be thrown forward on the ground where a third impact may occur.”

    It keeps going – and credits this to another article I haven’t read: Ashton, R.F., 1982, ‘Vehicle design and pedestrian injuries’, in Chapman, A.J., Wade, F.M. and Foot, H.C. (eds) ‘Pedestrian Accidents’, John Wiley Chichester

    What I read here and why I post this is that maybe cars kill younger shorter kids without even popping them up to the windshield like in the video.

  • Erik G.

    But it misses the point. All drivers have to be reminded over and over and over again that they need to be careful. If I am to understand this P.S.A., bad drivers are only genetically created in a lab?

    So the guy was distracted, we get it, I’d be distracted too if I had to thread myself through all those parked cars; but HOW FAST was he going?

    And did LADOT, in their quest to “MOVE MORE CARS” and “STORE MORE CARS” end up creating too many parking spaces or open a road to through traffic that didn’t need to be opened?

    (Ever notice that there isn’t one single mid-block street closure in the jurisdiction of LADOT??)

    I think its a good contrast to look at yesterday’s P.S.A.:
    (Which “May not be suitable for Young Adults”???!!!???)

    And contrast it with this one from the state of South Australia:
    (Has the same plot and protagonist)

  • Still lame!

    Eric G was on the right track. Those were light-years better than any American PSA effort. However this PSA out of Ireland is by far the most disturbing PSA about speeding and pedestrian safety I’ve ever seen.

    (Sorry for the poor video quality)

    America is not willing to look itself in the mirror and face the horror our motorized nation has created. In LA, with Hollywood and all that movie talent, this and other that supposed award winning PSA are both pathetically lame.

  • Erik G.

    @ Joe

    And what is even worse, SUV’s have higher bumpers which makes many vehicular strikes which would be leg or thigh injuries with a sedan into neck and head injuries. The higher bumper also increases the ability of the SUV to drag the child under and down the road, if the driver does not stop immediately.

  • and while I am at it, let me tell you what I think about the slogan “Watch the Road”

    – It implies that the responsibilty is the driver’s, not the system’s.
    – It’s ultimately passive… just “Watch” and we’ll take care of you.
    – It assumes a driver – or maybe maybe a cyclist – but does a pedestrian or a transit rider need to watch the road? Nah – they have better things to do, better things to watch.
    – Even the word “road” sounds utiliarian compared to street or boulevard…

    Maybe a contest in order – what’s a better slogan for LADOT? ok… these aren’t serious… but someone should come up with an alternative… maybe there’s even a way to alter/repair those watch the road signs up around town.
    – Save the Street
    – Bike the Boulevard
    – Watch people! Ride Transit!
    – Watch the People on the Bus
    – Step Away from the Car
    – Get out of the Car
    – The less you drive the smarter you are (that’s from Repo Man)
    – Reclaim the Streets
    – Divorce your Car! (that’s a book)

  • How about, “Watch the road, ’cause it sure as hell isn’t going to watch you.”

  • Yes. European P.S.A.’s are generally more graphic and verbally tough than American ones. Even the NY ones with the cyclist being carted off to the hospital have nothing on the ones from Europe. I still have that sound of that woman screaming from the P.S.A. Browne posted at the Bus Bench, and it’s been a week since I watched that one.

    Wait though, the P.S.A. wasn’t just about being distracted, it was about driving too fast. They say over and over again that he shouldn’t have been in such a rush. That more than implies that he’s going to fast. He may be a lout talking on his cell phone, but he’s also going faster than he should.

    I can’t believe you all are putting me in a position where I feel I have to defend LADOT.

  • LOL@Damien… gettin older, havin a kid, stickin up for the DOT… what next?


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