Slow Down (don’t make skeletons)

For the That’s Why It’s 30 campaign, the Barbarian Group devised a display for the matrix signs used by New York City Department of Transport. If a passing car breaks the speed limit, the pedestrian graphic takes on a rather grim appearance

For the That’s Why It’s 30 campaign, the Barbarian Group devised a display for the matrix signs used by New York City Department of Transport. If a passing car breaks the speed limit, the pedestrian graphic takes on a rather grim appearance…

“The NYC DOT came to us with a startling statistic,” The Barbarian Group write on their blog. “When a pedestrian is struck at 30mph by a vehicle, there is an 80% chance they will survive. If a pedestrian is struck at 40mph, there is a 70% chance they will die. 10mph, a seemingly subtle difference while you are behind the wheel, is the difference between life and death as a pedestrian.”

Using the DOT’s Wanco matrix sign, a speed radar, and a 48 x 27 dot matrix, BG created a board to remind car drivers in New York to reduce their speed.

The speed board shows a graphic of the familiar pedestrian ‘walking man’, with the speed limit of 30mph. The fitted radar detects the speed of passing cars – if one breaks the limit, the pedestrian then changes into a skeleton (the graphic was designed by BG art director Henry Lai), alongside SLOW DOWN in giant letters.

An animated gif of the sign is on the Barbarian Blog, here – though the finished version actually consists of the two static signs shown above.

The proposed animated version apparently violated the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (it used rapid flashing) and BG were also bound by the fact that they only had 2-6 seconds of display time and 2KB of RAM to play with.

  • Anonymous Creative

    ‘the pedestrian graphic takes on a rather grim appearance…’

    You’re right it does, a grim bad graphic. No-one in the world will register that as a skeleton, terrible piece of work.

  • Stefan

    When seen from a distance (as you would with such signs), it does in fact look like a skeleton. Have you seen billboards up close? Same effect.