New Ad Campaign to Lower Car Accidents in Russia

Russian authorities are now going to the extreme to try and curb the high number of deaths caused by car accidents.

Russian authorities have launched a new ad campaign to try and shock reckless drivers into slowing down. Russia constantly has the highest rate of road deaths in Europe with over 33,000 people dying on Russia’s roads in the last 12 months according to recent government statistics. President Dmitry Medvedev compared last year’s road deaths to that of losses suffered in a military campaign.

The most controversial advert shows a man calmly saying good bye to his family as he heads off for another day at the office. He calmly walks onto the windowsill and plummets to his death from a high rise block.

According to Natalya Agre Managing Director of the Russian agency that made the advert, the main aim of the advert was to show the impact of a car crash at 50 kilometres per hour, which is comparable to a fall from a fifth storey of a building.

This advert is one in a series of four shocking add all designed to shock people into taking greater care when driving. As well as the falling man other adverts include children waiting at home for their parents as they die in a high speed crash, another shows a small boy straying into the path of a truck whilst his mother looks around for him. The final ad shows a man drinking at a party then cutting between his girlfriends face and his face cracked against the windshield.

The campaign was directed by Frenchman Erick Ifergan, he commented on the adverts saying he was “very happy. It’s one of the best campaigns that I have done in my life.” He also commented on the hard hitting style saying it was totally justified “By being mild or joking, you don’t really affect people,” he said. The violence “isn’t gratuitous, it’s really for a reason.”

The ad campaign has come up against some problems with getting the ad shown on Russian TV Agre commented on the situation saying “The channels say they don’t want to show it we tried to talk to them, and they said, ‘Please do mild things. Don’t show blood.'”

“Shock ads, after all, are still rare in Russia. Recent billboards funded by an insurance company showed a teddy bear wearing a seat belt. “

“The style of the ads has caused a lot of discussion,” said Vladimir Shevchenko, chief spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s road safety department. “A person comes home from work and wants to relax, and suddenly a bucket of blood is poured on him. At this stage, maybe it’s absolutely right. Time will tell.”

The series of ads are currently being shown on the internet and in the cinemas across the country. With Russia death rates on the roads constantly being the highest in Europe maybe it is about time that the country tried using extreme shock tactics to convince Russian drivers to take more care on the roads.

Seamus has more articles on car accidents.

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