Children’s road safety TV adverts to be axed in UK

Rafael Consunji sent me the following clipping with this comment:

“I am very sad for the children in the UK. To a man (and woman), everyone I met from the UK can recite the adverts that they saw as kids that encouraged them to be safer pedestrians.”

I replied that I had no doubt that was true; the only problem was that I recall evaluations of these crossing rituals (especially the Green Cross Code) that were done in the sixties or seventies with no positive results with respect to reductions in injuries. As further evidence that they are almost certainly ineffective, note that there has been an increase in injuries even though the promotions have not yet been terminated. I hate to sound like a nay-sayer, but I still find it difficult to accept educational approaches to prevention unless they are accompanied by other, more substantial measures. To its credit, transport in the UK has taken other far more effective steps, especially with regard to speeding and red light violations. I hope these will not be cut. Anyway, here is the announcement Rafael sent.

“Television adverts teaching children how to cross the road are to be scrapped for the first time in 60 years – despite a rise in the number of deaths. Campaigns such as Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code man will be axed due to department for transport budget cuts.

Road safety campaigners have criticised the decision, saying it will lead to more youngsters being killed on Britain’s streets. Official figures show the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads has risen by 8%. In the three months to September, 420 died or suffered severe injuries, compared to 390 during the same period in 2011.”

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