Monday, 11 February 2013

What Price Fluffytails and Superheroes?

The Green Cross Man
The Green Cross Man (Photo credit: Boyce Duprey)
If there’s one thing parents dread, it’s the moment when their children have to negotiate busy roads without an adult hand to hold. No matter how much sense you hope you’ve imparted, the nagging doubts remain. Did you place enough emphasis on vehicle speed? Have they fully understood the ‘look right, look left, look right, again’ routine?

It’s precisely because parental road safety advice/instruction can break-up under the weight of ‘tidy your toys away’, ‘have you brushed your teeth?’, ‘do your shoes up properly’, etc, that government information adverts have proved so successful over the years. If you want to grab a child’s attention over something that’s potentially life-threatening, convey your message via an animated squirrel. Alternatively, use a superhero with a physique that suspiciously matches that of Darth Vader. We all remember the ‘Green Cross Code’ don’t we?

So how bonkers is it that the Department of Transport has decided to ‘pull’ televised road safety adverts in order to "re-prioritise" its budget? Apparently, “the department's Think! campaign has a budget of £3.6m, with £78,000 of that spent on educating children about road safety.” I imagine it will take the formation of a new committee to re-prioritise such a huge sum.
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6 comments:

  1. Bonkers indeed, although children today are rarely left to cross busy roads alone, and are ferried from place to place in cars.

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    1. You're quite right Nell, and the irony is, the 'school run' actually increases traffic levels and presumably the chances of a child being knocked down.

      I'm actually quite surprised at how many young children in our village cross, unaccompanied. Maybe parents feel that country roads are less dangerous. They couldn't be more wrong.

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  2. I must confess that I am looking forward to an opportunity to "re-prioritise" my political choices at the next election in order to avoid such decisions in the future.

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    1. It's my dearest wish that millions will follow your example, Alan.

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  3. With one granddaughter already driving and two in the learning stages, I would gladly return to the days when crossing the road was their main hazard! Not to minimize the danger or to suggest that cutting out the campaign isn't a false economy.

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  4. In my experience, it takes quite a long time for older children, even, to judge the speed of an oncoming car. This government's priorities are not usually what I wish they were!

    Also, even as a very road-aware adult, I find that drivers can be incredibly aggressive. I was recently crossing a wide road in Aberdeen, when a Land Rover turned into the street, and honked very menacingly at me as I was crossing - I was in her way! I'd like to think this isn't a nationwide thing?

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