The Queensland based Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) yesterday launched the worst road safety campaign ever. One that could easily result in more road accidents and injured or dead children.
In their poorly thought out idea, the ARSF will be issuing life-sized stickers of children appearing to run onto the road and into oncoming traffic, along with 50 kilometres per hour stickers, also to be attached to bins.
The ARSF released the following video onto social media to demonstrate their product.
“With kids heading back to school this week, it’s a good time to be thinking about how we can keep them safer on our roads. That’s why the Australian Road Safety Foundation have come up with these life saving stickers.
Just stick them on to your wheelie bin, and if you live in a 50 zone, attach the speed limit sign too. A reminder to watch out whenever the bins are wheeled out. It’s a little way you can help to keep the little ones safe.”
Not only are motorists subjected to often changing speed limits, they must now also discern between actual government placed speed limit signs and the fake ones issued by the ARSF, which may not be authorised speed limit for that street.
Worse though, as shown in the following image from a 7 News Australia Facebook post, possibly taken during an ARSF demonstration of the stickers in use, is the placement of a car obscured bin with a child sticker popping out at drivers when they’re just metres away from the bin.
If a driver in that situation travelling at 50 kph only sighted the obscured life-sized child sticker at just 5 metres away, they would have just 0.36 seconds to react.
On the ARSF website, CEO Russell White stated: “We believe these stickers have the potential to have a real impact on our roads”. Unfortunately, that impact will be the car behind rear-ending you as you slam on the breaks to avoid a child who simply isn’t there.
Perhaps drivers seeing a fake risk to life will take other evasive action and end up in a head-on collision as they swerve away from a fake child into very real oncoming traffic, placing actual living people at risk of serious injury or death, along with expensive damage caused to the vehicles.
The other great risk of this campaign is that it may breed complacency on the roads, where drivers sighting a small child, may in that split second (or 0.36 seconds) they have to make a life or death decision, to erroneously conclude the child they spot out of the corner of their eye is just a sticker, and there’s no need to apply their brakes or safely manoeuvre away from danger.
If these stickers come into common use, I’m sure some drivers who collide with a child will use the “I thought she was a sticker” defence.
I hope the ARSF have a good public liability insurance policy to cover the most dangerous idea for road safety yet.