Motorcycle PSA's. Do they work?
There's something unsettling about most public service announcements. They take very little time to try to drive home whatever message they have by using a blunt force approach—a lot of info in a short amount of time.
As riders, safety is always at the forefront of our minds. We wear the proper gear, ride within our limitations, and hope the caged drivers aren't out to kill us every single time we throw a leg over. Most of the motorcycle PSA's are (in vain) geared towards that last group, in an attempt to educate the cell phone tethered masses to actually look for other vehicles on the road.
1. Shock and Awe
Our first video is what we would refer to as the "shock and awe" approach. While watching, it caught me completely off guard even though I had viewed this particular PSA before. It's an ideal safety message—the same one we learned when we were taught how to cross the street.
Video two is more for the car drivers than it is for those of us on two wheels. It's a stark reminder to pay attention to the road since a hazard can be around any corner.
Just a few months ago, I led a demo ride. There was a gentleman who ran over a tennis ball in a turn, and that small ball lifted the front tire from the road surface long enough to cause a low side crash. The lesson here is to slow it down. Doing so will leave yourself time and room to react.
3. Slow it down
Think and take a moment before you make a particular maneuver. Keep the speeds down on public roads so you have room and time to avoid dangers. It ended up being the perfect day for this rider, but like it says at the end: We don't get warnings like this in real life.
4. Is this what it takes?
Lastly, this PSA one that begs the question, "When have we done enough to get noticed?" I think maybe the approach in the video goes a bit too far to make a point and there's definitely not enough safety gear in this PSA. Would riding around like the people in the video actually help us be seen?
Do you think these campaigns work? Before now, have you viewed any of these PSA videos? It would be hard to claim they are doing their job if no one watches them.