Memorials as Public Service Announcements


We saw the funeral home ad a couple of months ago that ‘promoted’ texting and driving as a PSA, and now we see one called Seatbelts Save lives, and the bisected passenger sedan which encourages to slow down and pay attention. In this latest exhibit the message is clear. Wear your seatbelt.

The exhibit on display in Romania. 15 car seats were placed on display in the capital Bucharest by the police. All of them were taken from car crashes in which people died because they weren't wearing a seat belt. The seats on display though, were from the people in the car who survived because they WERE wearing their belts. The seats each have a name plate that describes the virtue of the seatbelt, and the heartbreaking story behind the survivor or the crash.

Romania has a particular problem with seatbelt compliance and 8 people die on the roads each day, making them the second deadliest roads to be on in the EU.

In Ontario, a trailblazer in seatbelt law, The Highway Traffic Act requires the use of seatbelts and has done so for decades. Every person in a car must be buckled up. Police continue to run compliance blitzes regularly though. Recent data shows an interesting trend though. Women are far more likely to always strap on the seatbelt than men.

Since 2011 there have been more than 330 people killed on Ontario roadways who could have been saved had they been wearing their seatbelts. 755 of those deaths were men. According to OPP research it appears that men think they are less likely to be in a car crash and therefore they don’t need to wear seatbelts.

It is encouraging to see that the public service announcements are becoming more creative, and perhaps more explicit. It is sad, however, that so many of the drivers on the roads believe that laws don't apply to them.

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