249 people died on Victorian roads last year, and more than 5000 hospitalised. But the human brain isn’t wired to comprehend or appreciate these abstract numbers as real human lives.
This short video, released by Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC), aims to change this attitude by giving every one of those numbers a human face.
Advertisers have tried almost everything when it comes to road safety awareness. Many have grabbed our attention with shock value, often to brilliant (but disturbing) effect.
This time around, they’ve tried something far more subtle and gentle, but arguably just as effective.
The ad takes the form of an interview with local Victorian Francisco Cerros. He is asked the question: “Last year 249 people died on Victorian roads. What do you think is a more acceptable number?”
After a moment of hesitation, he suggests “70”.
The producers then bring out 70 members of his family, instantly forcing him to reevaluate his decision.
His new answer: “zero”.
According to the Victorian Government, Mr. Cerros is not an actor and the ad was unscripted; he was not prepared to see his family step out. His choked up response is genuine.
“We realise Towards Zero sets an ambitious target,” said Luke Donnellan, Victoria’s
Minister for Roads and Road Safety. “But unless we’re working towards the highest possible benchmark, Victorians will continue to lose loved ones to road trauma and we can never accept that”.
“If we’re not aiming for zero, we are saying to ourselves that there is an acceptable level of road trauma”.
“Road trauma is not about numbers. It’s about our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and not one of them deserves to be killed or seriously injured just because they use our roads”.
Will this lead directly to greater caution on the road? Probably not. But as a piece of broader public education, it forces us to think twice, and that’s an incredibly important first step to make.
Does this video change the way you think about road death numbers?