Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Okay, so this PSA I got sent is really well done and scary at the right moment and all that, but the more I think about this I still go back to: It’s not enough. While the post title I wrote isn’t the actual name of the campaign, it might as well be. It still wouldn’t matter though.
As I ranted previously, besides the issue of texting, the bigger issue is distraction in general while driving.
More than even that however is the approach that needs to be taken beyond slick ad campaigns.
You need enforcement to wake people up on the order of Click-It or Ticket, where officers are out at checkpoints to back up the ads that run. Plant officers for one weekend in any mall parking lot, up the fines significantly, and I guarantee they'll have their fundraising goals met for the year.
The fact that cell phone violations are given lip service relative to DUI is a joke. If you’re framing it in the context here that someone will die, then the penalties for being caught need to match those for driving while intoxicated. Police aren’t letting someone off for DWI just because they didn’t happen to kill someone yet—so why are people on cell phones ignored?
Furthermore, the wireless providers in this country (and abroad) are doing what amounts to nothing to stop the problem. Tiny warnings in a brochure are as effective as age verification screens on beer sites.
If they wanted to, they could start tomorrow and work towards disabling a phone when a vehicle is moving (based on GPS tracking and other blocking technology already available), but somehow they seem content to watch the body count rise.
This problem won’t get fixed until a U.S. senator loses a kid in a car accident because they were texting. (Since the work comes from DC-based GMMB, I suggest they start there since they’re close enough to get on that political radar.)
As good as they are, and as many awards as they might win, cool PSAs are not enough.