72 Years of Government Departments Advertising Campaigns 1947 - 2019

In 1947 and 1949, the Department of Local Government in Ireland engaged the National Film Institute to make two Road Safety Films, ‘Mr Careless Goes to Town’ and ‘Safe Cycling’.

  • The incorrect 1946 TRL Highway Code stopping distances were used in the making of these Films.

In 2003, the National Safety Council NSC, before merging with the RSA continued with the TRL mistake.  The ad ‘Four Dead in this Vehicle’ ‘The One Without the Belt did the Damage’ ‘No Seat Belt No Excuse’, claimed the non-wearing of a safety a belt was the cause of the damage after a driver on the incorrect side of the road crashed head-on.  On the 03 06 2003 P. C. Costello NSC CEO responded, “We have two commercials (a) Pedestrian Carelessness and (b) Driver Carelessness, both of which deal with the specific target group.  The NSC continued with similar Campaigns worldwide.

The Road Safety Advertising Campaigns continued from 2006 and included as follows:

Check it Fits, Apple Green Driver Fatigue, Weather Warnings, Dangers of Mobile phone use while driving, Don’t be a Silly Billy, Let it Glo, Cover your Chest with a High-Viz Vest, Light Up Day and night, Hi Glo Silver, Allow 1m or 1.5 when passing cyclists, Fail to Prepare for the Driving Test, Prepare to Fail, No One likes being told what to do, Consequences, the Safe Cross Code Dance Competition and the Transition Year Student Video.

The RSA Campaigns to win Awards include; ‘Kilkee’, ‘Driver Training ’, ‘Impairment Test’, ‘Anatomy of a Split Second’, ‘Don’t Look Back’.  In 2017, the RSA picked up four awards at Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD) awards for three of its 2016 campaigns: ‘Crashed Lives’, Never Let Go, ‘Slow Down’, while the Crashed Lives campaign, ‘For Ciarán’, won a rare Gold Bell, with the jury saying: ‘This work is so good, you can’t bear to look at it and in 2019 the Noel Clancy Crashed Lives Campaign also won an Award for ‘Unaccompanied Drivers’.

There were thousands of complaints about the 'Clancy Ad' including a complaint from the Miniter for Health Jim Daly, but the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland BAI, deemed the ad to be in accordance with the rules and regulations.   

The Executive Complaints Forum ECF members included as follows: Mr. Ciarán Kissane, Mr. Roger Woods, Ms. Sinead Owens and Mr. Richard Brennan. The complaint decisions were signed by Mr. Kissane and stated  "I understand that you are not satisfied with the decisions reached, however, I must advise you that there is no appeals process".

The RSA commissioned Campaigns based on Garda Pre-Crash Reports on Vehicle Factors, Alcohol and Speeding, but the Garda statistics are flawed Gardai and RSA differ on stopping from 120 km/h by 1.52 seconds 51 metres.

Summary

In 2015, the RSA spent approximately €40m on Purchase Orders over €20k. Media Vest one of the many advertising companies, received almost €4m, but road fatalities increased to 193 from 190 in 2013, the same as recorded in 1931, or 83 years earlier. In 2019 the RSA has rejected my findings for 13 years since 2006.

Statistics show that road safety campaigns have not worked since 1947 and will not do so in the future. In 2009, Gardai found that less than 1% of drivers were over the Alcohol allowed limit and in 2019, that less than 1% of drivers were over the speed limit.

In 2019, Gardai for 22 years and the RSA for 13 years have rejected my research findings, WHY?