ROAD SAFETY HEROES
November 15th to the 21st is Road Safety Week and this year the UK’s biggest road safety event has chosen as its theme:
The aim of the campaign is described as:
'Celebrating the heroic work of road safety professionals, and explaining how we can all play a part in making journeys safer for everyone'
Disclaimer – We aren’t exactly the biggest fans of ‘awareness weeks (days)’ and we go into why that is in more detail here, but that aside, it was the theme of this year’s campaign that got us thinking…
With more than 1.3 million people dying on the roads each year globally (brake.org) and more than six children killed or seriously injured on roads every day in the UK, Road Safety most definitely seems like a cause crying out for a hero.
Invoking the idea of ‘being a hero’ to promote awareness of a safety subject isn’t new in comms, in fact we have used it to great effect in the past with some of our own clients.
Used well it can prove to be a powerful mindfulness tool. Inviting us to consider our own role in dealing with a problem and promoting a strong sense of personal responsibility when it comes to tackling it.
An emotive rallying call encouraging us all to step up, do the right things and protect others with our actions.
...But wait a second Bob, that all sounds like a lot of effort on my part and I already know how to drive safely and cross the road just fine, so… - Mr Not A. Hero, Cloud Cuckoo Land
Well, that might be true, but that’s where ‘hero’ messaging really kicks into top gear.
Classically, heroes don’t always do what’s easy, do they? They do what’s right.
Whatever extra effort is required of them, however mildly inconvenient something might be, heroes always understand the big picture and the consequences of their actions, and make sure to do the right thing.
It’s this strong sense of morality and, in this particular campaign, mortality that resonates with target audiences and gets them thinking about how they act.
Consider this -
Do you want to be someone who does what’s quick and easy regardless of the consequences?
Or do you want to be someone who considers the bigger picture and helps protect others?
Are you going to cross a busy road in between moving traffic and put lives at risk?
Or are you going to walk 30 seconds further up the road to cross at a safe place and be a hero?
The power in this campaign is contained within the fact that that we all get to play the part of the hero when it comes to Road Safety.
It isn't important whether you’re attending accidents and saving lives as a member of the emergency services, holding hands with children as they cross the road and saving life as a parent, making sure vehicles are roadworthy and saving lives as a technician or even just cycling to work and saving lives by driving less...
You are saving lives, and that's what heroes do!