Well Being

‘Crotches Kill’: Alberta’s Strange But Great New PSAs

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When it comes to texting while at the wheel, many of us are guilty. Even though “just peeking” by keeping the phone in our lap or “glancing sometimes” at the screen seem harmless, it is still incredibly dangerous. Transportation officials in Alberta, Canada have decided to take a serious course of action against distracted driving and revealed their “Crotches Kill” campaign this week.

“Because every text you send from your lap takes your eyes off the road for five seconds — enough to do a lifetime of damage,” says one ad, part of a $380,000 effort to curb the habit so many drivers have become dependent on to stay up-to-date on their phones. According to Donna Babchishin of Alberta Transportation, the campaign is attempting to both stir up conversation (after all, “crotches kill” is a lot funnier than “don't text and drive, seriously guys, we mean it this time”) as well as target the specific demographic of those who are most often arrested for distracted driving.

“Our goal is to get their attention, and to ultimately save lives, and the way to do that was to come up with a campaign that spoke to them and generated conversation.

“The second phase asks people to think about how long a text message takes to send, and the dangers that come with it.

“The campaign is in part targeted at a very young demographic. The highest rate of convictions for distracted driving are actually 25 to 34-year-old males.”

The ads have been placed on billboards, the radio, online and even on urinals, the tagline being, “We know what you're doing down there.” In one, the puck at the urinal questions the viewer on being “distracted by your crotch again, huh?” While I do think that putting these messages just about everywhere is not a bad idea, I am suddenly grateful that I do not use urinals; I would prefer little to no PSA action while I'm in the bathroom, thanks.

Regardless of my feelings on talking pucks, I do think that this is an interesting PSA campaign. As somebody who used to text and drive on occasion, I still feel very lucky I never hurt anybody, including myself, while doing so. It's a difficult habit to break, but it's one we all need to end ASAP. Distracted driving is certainly a huge issue everywhere, and considering typical PSAs are clearly not working all that much, it's important for city governments to take note and try new methods of getting the message out. In the coming months, we'll hopefully hear of some success on Alberta's part.