Friday, June 3, 2011

Safety campaign wants wankers off Australian roads

An Australian road safety campaign that labels drink-drivers "wankers" will fall on deaf ears, a psychology expert says. Matemorphosis, a Motor Accident Commission campaign, is aimed at getting young men to speak up when their mates are driving dangerously, particularly on country roads.

By using pictures of a "W" and an anchor to depict drink-drivers as "wankers", and a door handle referring to unsafe drivers as "knobs", the TV spot is an effort to connect with younger drivers in their own language. University of South Australia Professor Drew Dawson has viewed the advertisement along with members of his class and was "less than impressed" with the new campaign.

"It's very complicated, the messages are difficult to interpret and, by and large, young men don't respond well to old men lecturing them," Prof Dawson said. "Most of the people here in the age group didn't get the W and the anchor and didn't understand Matemorphosis. Looking at it from a psychology perspective I was more than less impressed."

YouTube link.

Road Safety Minister Tom Kenyon said the Government made no apologies for the new campaign. "This is about a front-bar campaign and this is front-bar language so I don't apologise for it. Our community will not tolerate knobs or wankers behind the wheel," Mr Kenyon said.

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