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Portland debuts new ‘Struck’ road safety PSA campaign

Posted by on April 2nd, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Screen grab from the video.

In what they referred to as their “first big push” on the education side of their Vision Zero work, the Portland Bureau of Transportation launched a road safety media campaign today.

PBOT Director Leah Treat at today’s press conference.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Every deadly car crash ends two lives,” reads the narrator of a 30-second video (watch it below). “The person who loses their life. And the person who loses the life they had. It’s time to slow down Portland.”

The campaign centers around the idea that more than one life is impacted in a traffic crash. “Where there’s a fatal crash,” said PBOT Director Leah Treat as a press conference in City Hall, with family members of traffic crash victims standing by her side, “There’s more than one victim. The person who died, obviously it’s devasting to their family and their loved ones. There’s also, on the other side, the person who was driving the car that killed someone.”

The video (below) and imagery is based on a collision involving a driver — but the car is invisible.

Treat said that while there’s “some assignation of responsibility” toward the driver, they don’t usually get as much sympathy. “I think there needs to be an understanding that the driver who hits somebody, their life is impacted for the rest of their lives as well,” she continued. “And if we want driver behavior to change we actually have to be doing outreach, engagement and media that talks to drivers about the impacts that fatalities can have on them, their loved ones, and the rest of their life.”

PBOT spent $300,000 on the campaign, which was paid for with funds set-aside form cannabis tax revenue. The budget included production work from advertising agency Borders Perrin Norrander and a media buy to broadcast a short video and graphics through various channels — including a regional commercial spot that will air during tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game.

Here’s the 30-second video:

And here are the visuals that will appear on the side of buses throughout the region:

PBOT has also produced a series of GIFs they can use on social media.

Rob Thompson with Borders Perrin Norrander said that the idea to focus on drivers came from Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Captain Mike Crebs. “From talking with Capt. Crebs, we suddenly realized the two sides of the coin and the importance of acknowledging the driver as the person whose behavior we need to change… When Crebs made us realize that that side of the equation is often overlooked, that felt like a really new place for us to go.”

As for removing the car completely, Thompson said it was about trying to make the spot as simple as possible. “We stripped the car away from a car crash. We created a collision with no automobile — because ultimately what this is is a collision of two lives. It’s two existences that hit each other and they are forever changed. One may end, both may end, but no matter what, nothing will be the same.”

Kristi Finney-Dunn lost her son Dustin Finney to a traffic crash in 2011. Now she’s one of the leaders of Families for Safe Streets, an activism and support group for people who have lost loved ones to traffic crashes. Her group was consulted about the campaign and they chose to support it, even though it shines the light on the other side of the windshield. “Maybe they’ll care if they understand that there are consequences for them too,” she shared in an interview after the press conference.

PBOT has been here before. This is probably my fifth or sixth press conference at City Hall in the past 13 years where police, PBOT staff, and families of victims say they’ve had enough. I asked Finney-Dunn if she thinks something will be different this time. “I think they’re going to have to keep it up. If they let it slide.. if they… If they don’t keep it up it’s not going to last.” Given that we have a new Vision Zero Action Plan, I asked her, do you think we have a better footing to make progress now? “I really, just think I can say… I hope so,” she replied.

Finney-Dunn also speaks at Victim Impact Panels — where people who’ve committed crimes are forced to listen to people impacted by them. Finney-Dunn said there’s a speaker who does some of the panels who hit and killed three people with his car. “That’s the speaker who gets the most attention from the audience,” she said, “And I think it’s because they can put themselves in those shoes better. It’s easier for them to see it from that point of view.”

“So given that,” Finney-Dunn continued. “We thought this campaign would be a good idea.”

We posted the video on our Facebook page a few hours ago. Reader Eric Iverson had this to say:

“The phrase ‘ends two lives’ aggravates me as the person who died is very dead. The person who ‘loses the life they had’ often is far from the truth. For example, the ‘I didn’t see them’ excuse has let people off with as little as a traffic ticket in recent Portland crashes causing death or severe injury. So it does not end two lives in a lot of cases. It ends an innocent life, and slightly inconveniences the guilty party.”

PBOT says the campaign will run for two months. In addition to the commercial during the NCAA game tonight, it will run on TriMet buses and in local movie theaters.

This is just one part of PBOT’s Vision Zero campaign. They’ve announced over $40 million in infrastructure safety projects, have deployed several speed cameras on high crash streets, and today’s press conference came less than 48 hours after a new 20 mph residential speed limit went into effect.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

143 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jason VH April 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I have to say it, I agree with Eric. Especially having been on the receiving end of a car door and more than a few impacts with inattentive drivers.

    Until driver education and highway design is improved and penalties for drivers increase to real consequences, not much is going to change.

    “The phrase ‘ends two lives’ aggravates me as the person who died is very dead. The person who ‘loses the life they had’ often is far from the truth. For example, the ‘I didn’t see them’ excuse has let people off with as little as a traffic ticket in recent Portland crashes causing death or severe injury. So it does not end two lives in a lot of cases. It ends an innocent life, and slightly inconveniences the guilty party.”

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      Toby Keith April 2, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      Are they actually trying to equate a person losing their life (and the grief of their loved ones) with the person who killed them and goes on living?!

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        meh April 3, 2018 at 6:34 am

        Yes, because they actually admit the the person in the car isn’t always at fault. Cyclists and pedestrians do break the law and get themselves killed. Case in point the cyclist coming down the Columbia River Highway at speed who veered into on coming traffic. That driver will live with that death for the rest of their life, and it wasn’t their fault.

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          Pat Lowell April 3, 2018 at 10:17 am

          What happened, and when?? I don’t remember hearing about this.

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              Dan A April 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

              You dug up a story from 3 years ago to point out that there is bad behavior on both sides? Really?

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              Lester Burnham April 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

              Okay so you’ve found the one tragic story of a cyclist at fault. Meanwhile the drunk/high/distracted drivers are still killing at an alarming rate.

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                Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

                As well as people who are not drunk, high, or distracted, but still driving too fast/aggressively for conditions and laws. As my coworker said, “Seriously, who DOESN’T speed pretty much all the time?” “Um… I don’t.” “Well, you’re a tiny minority.” He was totally right… and totally wrong.

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              Pat Lowell April 3, 2018 at 3:16 pm

              Thanks for the link, that’s an awful story for all involved. Although there was nothing to indicate that the cyclist was breaking any laws either.

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                meh April 4, 2018 at 6:32 am

                He was breaking the law, it’s called the basic rule, he was traveling too fast for the conditions, and exited his lane into the oncoming lane. Tragic but it was the cyclists fault.

                https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.100

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:25 am

        Maybe instead of looking at it as a false equivalency, you can see it is pointing out there are lasting, life altering consequences for causing the death of someone else, even if you don’t end up in jail.

        I think it’s a powerful ad.

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          soren April 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm

          this is similar to lamenting the life altering consequences of seriously injuring or killing civilians while serving as a US military volunteer.

          the risk of seriously injuring or killing someone while driving is very well known and this risk is part of the atavistic social contract that our car-centric society has made.

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      Maria April 3, 2018 at 11:11 am

      I agree with Eric too, but, I see that appealing to clueless selfish drivers by pointing out that killing another human may actually have some personal consequences for them (even if that’s not altogether true) is the way to go.

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    Toby Keith April 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Like Shania Twain said: “That don’t impress me much”. I expect the mean streets of east PDX to be as deadly as ever.

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    Buzz April 2, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    “From talking with Capt. Crebs, we suddenly realized the two sides of the coin and the importance of acknowledging the driver as the person whose behavior we need to change… When Crebs made us realize that that side of the equation is often overlooked, that felt like a really new place for us to go.”

    How can they claim they ‘just realized motorist reeducation is the “really new” place for us to go’ with a straight face?????

    People have been saying this for years, but I guess once you qualify as a motorist you become a sacred cow that can’t be touched???

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 2, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    I think this is a pretty interesting approach. These things are super hard to get right and I’m glad that PBOT is doing it. They hired a real agency and this is professional-grade creative work. That matters. On the heels of their 20 mph speed limit, the speed cameras, and lots of infrastructure projects in the queue… They are moving. Will it have significant impact? Hard to tell. I hope. If it doesn’t, we’ll need to keep pressing them for more.

    And on a related note, remember the brilliant Vision Zero ad Metro did last year?

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    Bikeninja April 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    I don’t like them, my first impression before reading the article was of a modern dance interpretation of a motorist hittting vulnerable road users.

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    maxD April 2, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I still feel like PBOT just does not get it. The news release PBOT sent out includes a map of stret with planned Vision Zero improvements:
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/658308?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
    Safety improvements are great, and ad campaigns are great. I like and support all of the projects on the map and I support his campaign. However, beyond this ad campaign and these 17 projects, it appears to be business as usual at PBOT. They need an internal advertising campaign to wake up their staff and start changing their culture. An example of what is driving me crazy: Planned improvement for N Greeley. PBOT is spending a ton of money on a 2-way MUP and a new bike signal. That sounds great until you realize that the improvments only extend for 2/3’s the distance of the planned route, so not only will bikes get shunted out of the way, the last 1/3 will be on a concrete sidewalk (less than 10′ wide) with 2-way bike traffic, pedestrians, and it is used as a driveway! I have tried in vain to get PBOT to address these obvious safety concerns, but I am met with “not in this project”. even more egregious is the lane widening. According to PBOT, traffic speeds are already OVER 55, yet instead of including any design changes to slow traffic, they are widening lanes to 12′ and 13′ wide! Why not apply basic Vision Zero principles to his project and start by slowing the motorized vehicle traffic with narrower lanes to buffer the exisitng bike lanes. If they added a signal to meter cars on to the highway ramp (instead of diverting bikes) they could further control speeds AND create a safe crossing for bikes.

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      Gregg April 3, 2018 at 6:29 am

      What do you Like And Support about the “Columbia Boulevard
      Intersection reconfiguration at Martin Luther King, Jr.?”

      I was on a neighborhood board that discussed this project almost 10 years ago (My opinion lost), and if it is the same project, it will widen the intersection to accommodate Wide Load trucks better. I was against the project and I don’t understand how this is an improvement, or how it will make the intersection safer for people walking or cycling.

      Jonathan?

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        maxD April 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

        you are correct about the Columbia/MLK project- it spent most of the money to buy land from the hotel to create a right turn lane to speed up traffic. There are no significant ped/bike/safety improvements here. There are future projects along Columbia that are desperately needed for improved safety, but this is the one that gets prioritized because it improves speed and throughput.

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          Gregg April 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm

          Thanks for the comment. I personally think that that bullet item should be taken off the list. It will only hurt vision zero. I wonder if anything else on this list also should be removed.

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    JeffS April 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I think this campaign is excellent. Excellent at pointing out how the money the state is collecting via the overtaxation of marijuana is being thrown away.

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    Peter Hass April 2, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I guess this is good step but I don’t think much will change until we get serious about speed enforcement, tougher consequences (than feeling bad you killed someone), and creating higher standards to operate a vehicle that is potentially lethal.

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      Buzz April 3, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Exactly!

      We need speed cameras, not another PSA no one’s gonna see or care about, or change their behavior over.

      And we need much better driver training and testing. And retesting.

      And greater consequences for killing or injuring a vulnerable user; and sorry, but a guilty conscience doesn’t count as punishment.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:29 am

        It doesn’t need to. It needs to count as a deterrent.

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    Scott Kocher April 2, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Good article. Thank you.

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    Tom Hardy April 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    It is a start aside from the ballet moves. I really do not think the bad drivers attitude will change before at least one change is made.
    DUI and DUII charges need to be changed from minor ticket or inconvenience to a full charge of Pre-Meditated murder or assault, or Maiming. any that fit the circumstances.
    No one forced the driver to get behind the wheel after imbibing drugs or booze. The driver decided to reduce their ability to drive after getting a big “FIX”. The result one or more deaths.

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      B. Carfree April 2, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Maybe we could take the baby step of no longer giving drunk drivers a pass once each decade. Seriously, what does it teach a person who has actually managed to be caught driving intoxicated that we will wipe their record clean if they say the rosary ten times and pay for a quick class? I’ll go ahead and answer it: It tells them that their precious “right” to drive outweighs all the harm they will do, and they behave accordingly.

      If our legislature can manage that baby step, maybe they can move on to automatically disqualifying people with suspended or revoked licenses from having any access to a motor vehicle, including ownership, and maintaining a “can not drive/own” list so that no one will unwittingly lend them one. Then we just have to suspend licenses for five years for a first DUII and make hit and run a more serious offense than anything one could face for sticking around and we might make a bit of headway.

      I’m not feeling particularly charitable after drunks killed four people within five miles of my home over the weekend in three crashes. We’ve got an epidemic.

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        Joe April 3, 2018 at 10:31 am

        I think the diversion program offered by the state is helpful in educating drivers. It’s a lot more than just one class from what I’ve read.. mandatory ignition interlock device, a minimum 3-month rehab program, victims impact panel.. there may be more. Also, I read that it’s only available once every 15 years, though I wouldn’t mind making it a once in a life opportunity. I think a more helpful policy would be to have a no tolerance policy towards alcohol/drug in system. Rather than 0.08, let’s make it 0.00. That way people who’s judgement is impaired wont’ make the mistake of thinking they are below the limit. Though of course some folks will still make bad decisions.

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          B. Carfree April 3, 2018 at 5:37 pm

          If we were talking about educating children, I’d agree with this approach. However, driving is an adult activity that requires a certain level of maturity and social responsibility in order to allow our roadways to be used by everyone.

          There’s no way to get a license to drive without being aware of the fact that driving while intoxicated is extremely deadly, so any adult who chooses to go down that road should not be treated with kid gloves, imo. Ditto for the people playing with their vibrating toys while driving. Is it any wonder our roadways are 57% more deadly today than they were just four years ago?

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    q April 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    It strikes me as professionally done, something that PBOT and the agency will both be proud of, something that will get shown at events and get praise from the audience, and a waste of money.

    Someone at Wieden and Kennedy once said (as I recall) that it’s not enough to look at a commercial and say “That’s good”, or “young people (or wealthy retired men, or yoga women, or whomever) will like that”. You have to either respond to it yourself, or be able to name actual real people (not generic groups or types) that you actually know who will respond–“My brother Jason will respond well to that”.

    I can’t think of a single person I know whom I believe will slow down as a result of seeing this.

    But I can think of several specific people who, if they saw it, would think, “How much did that cost? I’d rather get the potholes on my street fixed”.

    Hope I’m wrong.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:38 am

      What would your brother Jason respond to? Or is educating drivers (something many here complain is not done enough) a lost cause?

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        q April 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        It’s a good question. I’m not sure there’s an ad campaign that would really work for anyone I know. Again, that’s me predicting how they would respond, and not saying I couldn’t be wrong about them, or that this campaign might work well for people that I don’t know.

        I do think people I know would respond to getting speeding tickets, and also (I know it gets my attention) those speed readerboards that tell you your speed and change as you change speed–especially if those are accompanied by traffic cameras that catch speeders. “If you don’t slow down RIGHT NOW you WILL get a camera ticket” is a strong message. Showing someone they’re speeding as they’re speeding isn’t an ad campaign, but it is also education.

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          9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm

          I’m with ‘q’.
          Why are we spending VZ money on ads? Mostly ads are to get people to indulge, spend, consume. To me a slick ad on the subject of everyday carelessness leading to death is a way to cutesify the subject.
          Let’s jump to severe consequences, rather than an appeal to [i]behave better because you might be sorrier than you think you’d be.[/i]

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    Buzz April 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    PSAs alone, regardless of how good (or not) they are, are not going to change the behavior of the audience that really needs to be reached.

    Enforcement helps but I don’t think it’s the ultimate answer either, because currently the DA and the courts don’t really support it (see below).

    Much more rigorous driver training and testing are a better bet, as is restricting motor vehicle advertising (much like cigarette advertising) especially that which depicts what should be considered dangerous driving behavior in an urban environment. Plus a much harsher courtroom environment for high-risk motorists.

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      Kyle Banerjee April 3, 2018 at 9:11 am

      All of this. But what really makes the difference is a culture shift because even high levels of skill and knowledge can’t make up for bad judgment.

      This PSA is tame and few people will see it. And it’s not like the areas where watching the Red Asphalt series or other even more graphic presentations (my class had to look at photos of decapitated and disemboweled people while the details of their crashes were explained) is required in driver’s ed have noticeably safer drivers.

      As much as people would like to pretend otherwise, yanking licenses and locking people up has limited impact. If it were so effective, you’d think mass incarceration would have proved more effective for the other problems it was supposed to solve.

      Infrastructure also helps, but until someone can figure out a way for millions of people in densely populated area can move about without crossing each others’ paths, that can only be part of the solution.

      IMO, the attitudes prevalent on BP prevent the culture shift that is necessary. The militant “us vs. them” thing pushes people away. The treatment of the young woman who wrote the guest column was disgraceful and I want no association with it. Real progress requires engagement, and too many people here oppose even trying to do that.

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        Dan A April 3, 2018 at 9:24 am

        90% of Portland cyclists own and drive cars. Who are the “us” and “them” you refer to?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:40 am

          Exactly. It’s a false dichotomy. We should stop using it.

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        Middle of the Road Guy April 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

        Because we are right and they are wrong – always, even if it isn’t true!

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        X April 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

        How does a person’s gender relate to the content of their ideas? Should I accept statements that are wrong or distasteful because they are made by a person of a certain description? If I get right-hooked the before-crash characteristics of the person in control of the car are not useful information.

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        9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        “As much as people would like to pretend otherwise, yanking licenses and locking people up has limited impact. If it were so effective, you’d think mass incarceration would have proved more effective for the other problems it was supposed to solve.”

        Hm.
        But enforcement works much better in other countries. I’m so tired of us inventing something completely new and untried, and spending public money on it, when we could far more cheaply copy what others have done, and we already know it works.

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    Jim Lee April 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

    They have not a clue.

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    Tom April 3, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Still no mention of distracted driving from them. Slowing speed (without road redesign) has been shown to exponentially increase distracted driving so while crash severity goes down, crash frequency could go way up, and crashes envolving distraction are much more severe than other types. Without including distracted driving in their campaign, they could actually make things worse. I wonder if their resistance to even mentioning distracted driving may be due to their own addiction to cellphones and the fear of anything that might limit screen time.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:45 am

      Are you saying reducing speeds increases the severity of crashes?

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    SilkySlim April 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Wow. I can’t believe the hater degree on here. Well, I can actually, as PBOT has become the greatest of all villains in this community….

    If they announced massive enforcement, the hoards would be out shouting: “Wrong wrong wrong, we need cultural shift and messaging to drivers!”

    If they announce infrastructure changes: “Wrong wrong wrong! THEY HAVE NOT A CLUE. We need enforcement!”

    You can’t win with this crowd.

    I think the ad is pretty good.

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      Middle of the Road Guy April 3, 2018 at 9:40 am

      I’m convinced that being aggrieved is a natural state of mind for some people. You can put bike improvements in everywhere and there will still be complaints that they aren’t good enough or done equitably.

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        Dan A April 3, 2018 at 10:23 am

        Can you give us a specific example of gold-standard bike infrastructure in Portland that hasn’t been compromised in the name of driver convenience or parking? Perhaps we’ve been talking about the wrong examples.

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          Kyle Banerjee April 3, 2018 at 10:38 am

          I’m not familiar with what gets something identified as “gold,” but the Bike Valet at the base of the tram and the Tilikum Bridge are very good for cyclists and don’t seem too influenced by driver convenience or parking.

          I’m not clear on why solutions that balance the needs of everyone who is actually out there (particularly the vast majority of road users) is a bad thing.

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          Dan A April 3, 2018 at 1:13 pm

          Isn’t that a privately funded venture? I don’t think that’s quite the same as, say, planning to spend $450 million dollars on a RQ expansion solely for the benefit of drivers. Is there a bike highway in town that goes where people want to go, and isn’t interrupted by constant stops to give cars the right of way?

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          x April 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm

          OK, I’ll bite. In its present form the NE Couch-to-Burnside Bridge transition works pretty well. Of course then you’re on the Burnside Bridge. That’s the root of the kvetching about bike facilities, so called, in Portland. They’re discontinuous. You could almost say, anecdotal. Bike Lane Ends.

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            Dan A April 4, 2018 at 1:41 pm

            Right, so the pride of Portland bike infrastructure is 320 feet long raised bike lane that starts at this intersection: https://goo.gl/maps/AzcUeNxnttz

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      q April 3, 2018 at 10:27 am

      I see no “hate” here. Criticism and hate are two different things. Some of the same people (including me) who are critical of the ad praise PBOT for doing other things.

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        9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        Criticism is essential to a free society. Suggesting that folks here only complain without looking at what we’re responding to is tone deaf.

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      Chris I April 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      The only complaints you would see on here if they announced “massive enforcement” might be related to social justice. I think the vast majority of commenters on here are in support of enforcement that targets the people who endanger the lives of others on our streets.

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      B. Carfree April 3, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Was there a change of cast that I missed? I thought ODOT was our number one villain.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:48 am

        That’s right. ODOT is the number one villain. As is PBOT.

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          David Hampsten April 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm

          What about POTUS? Where does he fit in?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 9:11 pm

            He’s the number one villain.

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    Ken S April 3, 2018 at 11:10 am

    It pains me to say it, but the ad is correctly addressed to reach an audience of motorists and change behaviors.
    Even if the idea that “two lives are ended” is wrongheaded and tone-deaf to the actual people who no longer have a pulse, this is a case of reaching a group that wields power (motorists, in big cars, disconnected from the damage they can cause) in terms they grasp, without them feeling attacked.

    There’s such a thing as being right in the wrong way.
    If you’re trying to persuade someone and beat them over the head with the truth, they will retreat or tune you out.

    I’ve seen this play out in politics, school discussions, and general arguments all the time.
    Person A has a fact set, is 100% correct, and lambasts the incorrect party, person B, telling them not only are the wrong, but they are a bad person and should feel gnawing guilt.
    Person B feels personally attacked, sees a reasonable argument, but choses to do the opposite just to spite person A for being rude.

    It’s incredibly frustrating to have to accommodate motorists’ (or any other power-wielding group) fragility by changing the message, but if it does improve their behavior, then it’s worth it.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:54 am

      I’ve always wondered… is it only groups with power that are fragile? Is like how European royalty intermarried for so many generations that conditions like hemophilia became more common? Do drivers tend to marry other drivers, reducing genetic variation to the extent that they become more fragile than the general population? Do drivers bruise more easily?

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    Glenn F April 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Where is the State of Oregon and the DMV in all this…
    Shouldn’t PDOT just pressure DMV for better/required driver training/education.
    Save there cash and actually fix the streets and such…

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    Rachel April 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Enforcement by using speed cameras with (costly) tickets issued. Grab them by the wallet.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:56 am

      More punishment and less prevention!

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        Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 11:49 am

        Um… That is prevention. Predictable, “If you [break X rule] you have a very high likelihood of being punished” type enforcement is shown to change behavior dramatically. It’s the occasional “Once a month, somewhere in the city, we’ll do crosswalk enforcement” that is punishment without any demonstrable prevention impact.

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          Dan A April 4, 2018 at 11:54 am

          If you drive without a valid license or insurance, you will be separated from your vehicle immediately. If you crash into anything while driving without a valid license or insurance, you will be held 100% responsible for all damages.

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            Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

            I’d prefer to start upstream of there (working first on punishing the behaviors that are the ultimate causes rather than on punishing the crashes themselves) . Based on the fact that low-probability highly-negative consequences (e.g. jail time for criminals) have been shown to have very little impact on behavior, I’d guess that increasing the negative consequences for crashes wouldn’t have that much impact on driving behavior. The most logical way I can see it working is as a very long-term measure – if it incentivizes a large percentage of parents to significantly improve the driving education they provide for their children, that would have a significant impact in a decade or three. I’m all for it (if it’s done in an equitable way that doesn’t overly burden low-income/wealth folks who crash their cars into things) but mostly out of fairness for the victims rather than as a deterrence measure.

            Predictably doling out a meaningful negative consequence for the smaller bad behaviors that lead to crashes (speeding, red light running, stop sign running, crosswalk violation, right of way ignoring, etc.) via cameras seems like a more logical first step and short-term win. We have seen in particular spots in Portland that speed cameras do significantly limit speeds. If we can convince our state legislature to allow them to become pretty much ubiquitous, and to lower the speeding tolerance level from 11mph to something more reasonable like 3mph or 5mph or 20% of the speed limit, people will have to reliably obey the speed limits in order to avoid getting repeatedly fined. To be equitable, the fines should be a percentage of income (as measured by some number from the person’s last state income tax filing), ideally a percentage that increases progressively with income like the federal income tax does. Then we can move on to stop sign cameras, crosswalk cameras, etc.

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              Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm

              Correction, I was thinking about research showing the death penalty has no discernable impact on crime rates. Although, as I recall, the strongest impact prison time has on crime rates is the fact that incarceration makes it more difficult to commit many crimes while incarcerated.

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              Dan A April 4, 2018 at 1:45 pm

              I’d prefer more frequent fines to larger ones. Regularly-occurring $20 speed camera fines sent to the owner of the vehicle would be a better deterrent than rarely-occurring $400 fines, IMO.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 3:20 pm

              Teenage drivers will pay very small fines with the graduated system you propose. And I believe it would be found unconstitutional — equal treatment under the law, and all that.

              As for making cameras ubiquitous, ignoring the negative effects of potential surveillance, and further desensitizing people to it, remember that amongst the general voting population, they are very unpopular.

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                Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 3:42 pm

                Teenage drivers who are financially independent from their parents *should* pay very small fines (assuming they are poor, which is an almost-100% assumption). If the parents of financially *dependent* teens are wealthy, they would pay large fines on the teen’s behalf.

                I don’t think income-based fines would be found unconstitutional according to the 14th amendment. Equal protection under the law hasn’t been interpreted to prohibit progressive income taxation, for example. Indeed, I think there’s a much stronger argument to be made that the current situation at times violates the 8th Amendment’s ban on “excessive fines” for poor folks.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 9:06 pm

                Once you hit 18, you are an independent adult. I’m not sure how you would (legally) discriminate between “financially dependent” and “financially independent”. Some teens have a big income. But not many.

                As for the constitutionality of different punishments for the same infraction, depending on your financial situation, it strikes me as a different issue than taxation (which is specifically allowed by the 16th Amendment, and is therefore explicitly constitutional). Income based fines are not the practice, as far as I know, anywhere in the US, for any unrelated transgression. A precedent, or a sound legal opinion that it would pass muster, would be helpful in making your case.

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                Alex Reedin April 8, 2018 at 8:28 pm

                1) Being claimed as a dependent on income taxes seems like a reasonable way of determining financial dependence.

                2). First link on the Google for ‘income-based fines constitutionality’:
                https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3127949

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 9, 2018 at 12:13 am

                That looks to be an interesting article; thanks for pointing it out. I haven’t read all the way through it yet, but the potential constitutional issue that they raise (excessive fines) is different than mine (equal treatment under the law, which they may address later in the paper). I agree that by limiting the ultimate fine to a non-excessive amount, the excessive fines issue may be navigable (though even a $1000 fine for speeding may be deemed excessive if the “standard” fine is $100). As they point out, this is a new area and is largely untested. This paper is dated Feb 2018, and they claim to be the first to explore the constitutionality of such a scheme. I think it is safe to assume it will be a while before the idea gains traction in the US.

                Ultimately, for traffic fines, I am convinced our whole system will change long before day fines are implemented, litigated, and accepted. With AVs, traffic fines applied to individuals don’t make sense.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 9, 2018 at 12:30 am

                Also interesting is that some jurisdictions implemented the scheme in the 1980s, but all eventually abandoned it. When evaluating the scheme tested in Milwaukie, day fines had almost no impact on recidivism, which suggests they are not a greater (or lesser) deterrent than traditional fines, so might not be a panacea to our traffic safety problem.

                (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/136611NCJRS.pdf)

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                9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm

                Hello, Kitty, you should explore how the institution of bail works, how unequal,its effects are, and why most countries (which in any case are also more equal than the US) don’t have it.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm

                I know how it works, and I agree it’s broken and overly punitive. I’m not sure what a better system would look like, but there has to be one.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 3:12 pm

            Making people 100% responsible for damages is a great way for crashees to not get paid. Insurance isn’t required because we want to protect the driver.

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              Dan A April 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm

              100% at fault for the crash?

              I don’t understand the finances of it, it’s true. I’m just fascinated by stories where a driver with a suspended license hits somebody, and the police don’t do anything but give them a ticket for driving with a suspended license. There would have been no crash in the first place if you had obeyed the order to not drive — you should be 100% liable for the consequences.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

                You said responsible for all damages — I interpreted that to mean financially liable. As for being held at fault for the crash, I’d prefer to see fault assigned based on what actually happened, not unrelated (to the facts of the crash itself) legal issues.

                I do think letting an unlicensed/uninsured driver drive home is pretty messed up.

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                Dan A April 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

                I think of it like a soccer fan running onto the pitch and slide tackling the player with the ball. Does the referee spend time trying to determine whether the slide tackle was done safely, or whether the fan should perhaps get a yellow card for endangering the player? No, because that would be silly. The fan had no business being on the field in the first place.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 8:37 am

                Sure. And if a driver broke the speed limit 10 minutes before the crash they also totally responsible. If they had obeyed the law they would not have been at the location of the crash when it occurred, and so it would never have happened.

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                Dan A April 5, 2018 at 10:55 am

                That’s not what I’m saying. Oh well.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 11:13 am

                I know… you were talking about soccer.

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                q April 5, 2018 at 11:14 am

                I don’t know about 100% responsible from a legal standpoint, but philosophically, I agree. The soccer example is good. So is imagining if a doctor operated with a suspended license, and injured the patient. Drunk driving might be another comparison.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

                If your license was suspended due to unpaid parking tickets (if that’s even a thing), and you drive anyway, and another driver runs a red light and strikes you, it’s not your fault. You should be cited for driving will suspended, certainly, but you did not cause the accident, except in the most philosophical manner.

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                Dan A April 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm

                Let’s say I run a growing software company and we are starting to run out of places for people to sit in the building, so we are thinking about expanding the building at great expense to make room for additional people. However, 10% of the seats in the building are currently being used by people who were fired from their job. Why on earth are we discussing ways to make room for new people when 10% of the people in the office have no business being there? We have already told them they are not welcome.

                Now let’s say that 1 of those ex-employees gets involved in an HR dispute involving one of my current employees. How much time & energy should we devote to determining who is at fault in the dispute? The ex-employee should not even be in the building.

                The fact that people might compare driving with a suspended license to, say, driving over the speed limit at some point in time is the heart of the problem. Thank you for making that comparison yourself. We should have far less tolerance for people driving who have no business doing so.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 2:24 pm

                I see you missed my point. In my hypothetical, you would not have been involved in the crash except for your illegal behavior. This is exactly the same situation you describe.

                In some countries, if a foreigner is involved in a crash they are deemed responsible because if they had not come, the crash would not have happened.

                It’s all true and correct in one sense, and utterly irrelevant in another, and, luckily, here, things are pretty rational in this respect.

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                Dan A April 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm

                There is a difference between someone who is legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle, and someone who is not. I assume in the example you provide these foreigners are legally allowed to drive.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 4:39 pm

                Actually, in my example, the foreigner was ejected for slide-tackling one of his unemployed office mates.

                What if two unlicensed drivers crash into one another? Both are 100% at fault?

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    Beth L April 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    As a daily 17 mile bike commuter mostly on sharrow streets on the east side, this ad won’t change a thing. We need enforcement of speed limits and distracted driving. We need DUI enforcement that results in more than a slap on the wrist. I think we could go a long way in requiring regular re-takes of driving tests every few years.

    Last summer, my husband was nearly killed on his bike by a buzzed driver. Hours later the driver blew barely under the BAC legal limit, and got off with a minor traffic violation and $200 fine. The DA made this decision to not criminally charge a drunk woman while my husband’s medical condition was still unclear, he was still in the hospital with a brain bleed. We need the DA on our side, we need them to actually use the vulnerable road user charges. We need enforcement of traffic laws, not $300,000 videos.

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    Dan A April 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm
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    joan April 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    IT’S TIME TO SLOW DOWN, PORTLAND.

    All, please don’t miss the fact that these words are now going to be appearing on buses around the city. The comment about focusing on drivers seemed a bit tone deaf, but the ad is chilling. It might make an impact. And the call to action — slow down — is completely reasonable and achievable.

    I know we can pick at this, but it seems like a thoughtful campaign with high production value. This is so much better than scolding bus ads that tell us not to walk with our headphones on.

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      Dan A April 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Better than that, absolutely.

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      9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Hard to think of a lower bar.

      Oh wait, Jeff Reardon’s asinine PSA.

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    Kittens April 4, 2018 at 12:34 am

    This is a lovely campaign and sentiment. But without the feeling that anyone is minding the store, nothing is going to change. I am not sure what is going on at PPD but they spend almost no time on traffic and it shows.
    It is actually more a wonder why ANYONE follows the rules anymore.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 4, 2018 at 2:59 am

      Wait… we still have rules?

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      joan April 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      The Portland Police do pull people over! If those people are black and the police are “gang enforcement” officers looking to manufacture a minor traffic violation as an excuse to hassle local people of color.
      https://www.opb.org/news/article/gang-enforcement-police-portland-audit-african-american-stops/

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        x April 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

        yeah. It turns out police can pull a person over for having a little cardboard tree hanging from the rearview mirror?

        Damn.

        Again: we have too many laws, some of them make no sense, the police get to decide which ones to enforce, and going 9 mph over the limit on SE Stark is not a problem.

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          Dan A April 5, 2018 at 1:23 pm

          “The driver had failed to signal before a lane change and turn and had, according to the officers, obstructed the front windshield with an air freshener.”

          It’s legit to pull someone over for failing to signal before changing lanes, and then again before turning. The fact that it’s considered unusual to pull someone over for failure to signal is troubling.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

            Officers should not waste their time on inconsequential violations of traffic law. Imagine if that standard was applied to cyclists.

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              Dan A April 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

              Failure to signal is not an inconsequential violation of traffic law. It results in thousands of crashes and deaths every year. Gee, here’s one:

              https://bikeportland.org/2017/08/21/bicycle-rider-dies-after-collision-with-garbage-truck-driver-in-central-eastside-239577

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 4:33 pm

                The danger totally depends on circumstance.

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                q April 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

                I agree, but on the other hand, that driver probably figured what circumstances could be more perfect for not signaling than being on (what he thought was) an empty street in a deserted part of town in the middle of the night with (what he thought was) good visibility.

                Probably just about everyone who ever caused a crash due to not signaling figured the circumstances they were in at the time (a second before the crash) made it safe to not signal.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 5, 2018 at 5:09 pm

                The argument I might find persuasive is that signaling should be done habitually, and not doing so creates a danger by breaking the habit.

                Nonetheless, the practicalities of the matter dictate the police will rarely do anything except in the most egregious of cases, unless they’re hoping to have a little lookey-loo around your vehicle.

                Personally, I have no interest in living in a society where every infraction, no matter how minor, is routinely punished. I also realize there others who would love the idea.

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                9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

                “Personally, I have no interest in living in a society where every infraction, no matter how minor, is routinely punished. I also realize there others who would love the idea.”

                You realize that we live in a society where serious, major, fatal infractions involving automobiles are *routinely* not punished, so hearing you invoke the specter of Singaporean enforcement is pretty rich.

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          Dan A April 5, 2018 at 1:31 pm

          Incidentally, I stayed at a really cheap motel in Bend with my wife about 15 years ago. We got up in the morning to go get breakfast at about 6am, and I was driving south on 3rd street where the two lanes turn into a single lane and was pulled over for failing to signal, though I was driving the entire time in the non-merging lane. He was using it as a pretext to stop me and see if I was buying or selling drugs at the motel, which I presume is a common occurrence there.

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    X April 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I consider this ad an improvement. It’s clear to me that many of the people who are using motor vehicles have never thought about the possibility of actual bodies flying around. At least the video plants a seed. If only people knew that in the event of a crash a thing in their steering wheel is going to explode, black their eyes, and maybe break their ribs.

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    Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Am I too cynical if I think removing the car makes it easy for those inclined to do so to focus on the pedestrian/cyclist’s behavior as the problem? “Stop rushing to cross the street people! Slow down your walking for safety!”

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      Alex Reedin April 4, 2018 at 11:52 am

      This is about the print ads, not the video ad.

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      rachel b April 7, 2018 at 2:19 am

      Good point. And the ad is too pretty, too indirect and too confusing. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone (who hadn’t already been clued in) who would recognize those dancerly flying figures as pedestrians/motor vehicle casualties. The ads remind me a little of the famous Maxell tape commercials. I don’t think “victim, pain, ouch” looking at them. I think “cool! audio. dance. maybe Apple.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvByYedx_Hw

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        Brian April 7, 2018 at 8:18 am

        I tested your theory with my 8 year old son. I asked him to tell me what this commercial is about. He said “car crash” in about twelve seconds, before the speaker began.

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          rachel b April 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          I haven’t seen the commercial–I was referring to the billboard.

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            rachel b April 7, 2018 at 1:50 pm

            Oh, wait: did you mean the Maxell commercial? !! In which case–hah! 😉

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    q April 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    There may be some irony in putting “DON’T MAKE A QUICK TRIP LAST A LIFETIME” on the side of a bus.

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      Ken S April 4, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      lol.
      That irony could be reduced through BRT.

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    rachel b April 5, 2018 at 12:13 am

    I saw the pictures before reading anything here (was distracted) and nothing about them read “hit by a car” to me. I agree with Bikeninja that they look like an ad for a modern dance company.

    I think they should most definitely have included the motor vehicles wreaking all the havoc. Gud knows their wretched impact on the world gets softened and erased and ameliorated enough.

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      x April 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Agreed, the still images are a bit obscure, but it does seem to make the point that car violence is personal. If I drive into somebody, it’s not the car hurting them, it’s me hurting them.

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        rachel b April 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        But that’s precisely what’s not clear to me, when I look at it. Some mysterious invisible force is at work, according to the pictures. And while I’m a big fan of subtlety in general, I’m not in this case where it’s all too easy already for drivers to distance themselves from their actions. We need a whole lot of blatant, in your face obviousness to pierce those thick driver hides before we ever start going the subtle route. IMHO. 😉

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          X April 6, 2018 at 10:48 am

          I’m with you on the need for obviousness, my idea was scary clowns throwing nylon dummies on the car hood–but as someone pointed out above, a person in a car experiences that as an attack. Also some people like clowns. So I’ll settle for getting a person to visualize the result of screwing up. Visualize bodies flying around. So maybe it only reaches fans of modern dance. It’s a start.

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            Alex Reedin April 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

            I just feel like having cars and blood involved is the way to go, even if that seems gauche and passe to a professional design firm. People do not spend that much time or mental energy interpreting the ad they see on the side of a passing bus, it needs to be obvious.

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              rachel b April 7, 2018 at 2:07 am

              Agreed, Alex.

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              X April 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm

              I have a strong personal emotional response to people doing careless, or stupid, or even aggressive things with their cars. For me in the moment: Sure, put the blood on it.

              Sitting here today, not having been on the street or even outside for over 12 hours, I’m even more sure that approach does not bridge the gap. Bloody images aren’t going to help. People here now have an app for discounting graphic violent images. Sorry.

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              9watts April 9, 2018 at 6:55 pm

              Cars and blood. Yes.

              The photographer Weegee made a career of this.
              http://www.nydailynews.com/news/shocking-photos-famed-crime-photographer-weegee-gallery-1.1282477?pmSlide=1.1282475

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            rachel b April 7, 2018 at 2:07 am

            Har. 😉 I saw a billboard today. REALLY looks like a dance company ad. In fact, I think I’ve seen promo materials for a dance company in the area much like it. It’s a very stylized, attractive traumatic event… the images almost glamorize getting hit by a car. Beautiful deaths! That’s a big problem.
            p.s…”some people like clowns…” 😉 Shudder!

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              rachel b April 7, 2018 at 2:09 am

              More to the point–it (the ad) doesn’t even remotely make me think of people being hit by a motor vehicle.

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              q April 7, 2018 at 10:58 am

              Yes, it looks like the famous stop-action photos from decades ago of the Mark Morris Dance Company, right down to using black-and-white only.

              But it’s an almost total knock-off of the ad campaign–also from years ago–that Bottega Veneta did with Robert Longo, inspired by his figure paintings of the 1980s, right down to the flying scarves and bags:

              https://www.google.com/search?biw=1920&bih=949&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=KwHJWp-cEcykzwK2m47IDw&q=robert+longo+bottega+veneta&oq=robert+longo+bottega+veneta&gs_l=psy-ab.12..0.617233.621843.0.624771.16.13.3.0.0.0.156.1393.0j12.12.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.10.1074…0i8i13i30k1j0i8i30k1j0i8i7i30k1j0i13k1.0.7gRCXhwKxAA

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                rachel b April 7, 2018 at 1:53 pm

                Wow. Thanks for the links, q. The Robert Longo shots surprisingly look more violent than the PBOT ones. The bodies look more contorted and pained.

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                q April 7, 2018 at 2:59 pm

                The Longo-inspired ads used actual Bottega Veneta customers as models, and they took the photos immediately after the customers looked at the handbags’ price tags.

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                rachel b April 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

                Hah! 🙂 Nooooooo…. ?!

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    Eric Ivy April 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I’m the “Eric” that was quoted and I’m glad my comment sparked some discussion. I’ve seen a few billboards around town already, and I think they do a good job at conveying the message.

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    soren April 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

    The slow down message is a good one. For once, I don’t have any major criticism. 🙂

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    SD April 6, 2018 at 11:31 am

    This add may rub people who are familiar with traffic deaths the wrong way, but it will probably be effective at reaching the majority of people who have normalized speeding and believe that they have the tacit approval of society to drive too fast for conditions. Or, to embolden people who are inclined to drive the speed limit but are timid about driving the speed limit if they are slowing down traffic.

    It is unfortunate that drivers/ people need to be reminded that killing someone will negatively impact their own lives, but it is necessary to counter the years of victim blaming rhetoric that has prejudiced people to believe that vulnerable road users typically deserve to die because they are taking too much risk.

    That being said, the message overlooks the fact that there are often many devastated lives on the pedestrian fatality side. Perhaps the campaign could be stronger if it showed the ripple effect of speeding killing vulnerable road users and devastating their families and the people who love or rely on them.

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    joan April 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

    q
    I agree, but on the other hand, that driver probably figured what circumstances could be more perfect for not signaling than being on (what he thought was) an empty street in a deserted part of town in the middle of the night with (what he thought was) good visibility.Probably just about everyone who ever caused a crash due to not signaling figured the circumstances they were in at the time (a second before the crash) made it safe to not signal.Recommended 0

    And the assumption here is that the driver did actually fail to signal a lane change. Everything we are learning suggests that police are coming up with fake reasons to have an excuse to pull over black people. That has nothing to do with traffic safety and everything to do with harassing black people. If a cop is using an air freshener as an excuse to pull over someone, do we really believe everything they are telling us?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      It is very easy to find a reason to pull someone over, even without lying. That said, I agree, very often the police will find some trivial reason to stop someone they find “suspicious”, and it is these sorts of stops that are most likely to involve racial profiling.

      Regular traffic patrols, looking for meaningful violations of traffic law, with no ulterior motives, are much less likely to be problematic, as the statistics show.

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      q April 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Yes, I agree the harassment you describe happens. I was responding specifically to the comments related (with a link) to the garbage truck driver who turned into the path of a cyclist in the middle of the night on an almost empty street, killing her. I think it was established, or at least thought to be likely, that he didn’t signal and also turned early.

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    9watts April 9, 2018 at 8:17 pm
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