In April 2014, the City of Philadelphia was honored as the recipient of a Focus Cities grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to expand our pedestrian safety advertising campaign, It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science. And, yesterday, we kicked off the campaign in unexpected ways!
Using the same tagline as our previous campaign, “It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science,” we brought unsafe driver and pedestrian behaviors to life. Throughout the city’s highest crash corridors, we held #notrocketscience pop-up road safety events. At LOVE Park, Reading Terminal Market, Temple University, and the Olney Transportation Center, three distracted individuals dressed in “safety attire” (read: two over-the-top bubble wrap safety suits and a techy safety suit equipped with flashing lights and a scrolling marquee) in order to safely be distracted walkers.
Of course, distracted walking is not itself horribly hazardous; pedestrians don’t hit themselves! We dressed individuals in “safety gear” to illustrate a ridiculous world where we ask pedestrians to protect themselves against drivers engaged in unsafe behavior, when in fact it would be easier if everyone– especially drivers– just put their phones down and paid attention.
Pedestrian safety hard at work in the City of Brotherly Love
Throughout the day, It’s Road Safety’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts were updated, and people passing by were invited to join the conversation using #notrocketscience. As the selfies attest, the safety suit characters were a hit!
We’ve also launched a dynamic It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science website that has animated safety messages, safety tips, a safety kit, and “Heads Up” pictures that users are invited to share in order to warn others about the dangers of distracted driving and walking. The website’s animated characters, as well as their safety messages, debuted as advertisements on bus shelters, buses, trolleys, and subways yesterday, too.
Yesterday’s excitement certainly will not conclude It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science. Beginning next Tuesday, MOTU will be posting weekly safety tips to its Tidbit Tuesdays page. Yesterday’s pop-events were filmed and will be aired in a series of Public Service Announcements in April. And in April, we also will be hosting pedestrian/driver safety workshops in the city’s three highest crash corridors.
To make this campaign a success, though, we need you to promote safer streets for everyone! We invite you to use the resources we’ve provided to get the word out about the importance of pedestrian and driver safety in Philadelphia.