When I was briefed to write the new TMR low-level speeding campaign a few months ago, I remember feeling a strange sense of irony that I was deemed to be the right man for the job. After all, I’m a rev-head at heart, and the awkward-to-admit truth is I drive over the speed limit all too often.
STOP! Stop right there. Did you see what I just did? I said, ‘I drive over the speed limit’. I didn’t say ‘I speed’. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the exact reason this campaign has to be made. Too many people just like me, and quite possibly people just like you, don’t consider an extra 5-10km/h over the limit to be ‘speeding.’ Don’t really think it’s risky. Don’t really think it can destroy lives. After weeks of filming cars smashing into crash-test dummies, speaking with experts who study the science of speed, and interviewing victims of speed-related crashes, I’ve learned some unnerving truths.
One revelation is just how much faster 67km/h is, than 60km/h. Sounds stupid doesn’t it? Because even a mathematically deficient creative guy like me can calculate the answer to be 7km/h. But it’s not really the case. As our tests proved, the difference at the crunch-bang-smash end of a test is an exponential 30km/h. Hard to understand? Watch the ad.
Another head-spinning fact to emerge from this campaign is that around half of all serious speed-related crashes happen at less than 10km/h over the speed limit. Yeah, it’s a mouthful of a stat, but think about it; That means there are serious accidents all the time where people are doing just 45 in a 40 zone, or 67 in an 60 zone, etc. It’s not just the morons you see on the news doing 120 in a 60 zone that kill people and ruin lives. It’s normal people, often in understated suburbia that trigger a tragedy. The evidence is irrefutable.
The relationship many of us have with speeding is deeply engrained, complicated, and hard to change. Perhaps given time. as a community, we will come to accept that ANY driving over the limit is ‘speeding’.
Nick Ikonomou is a Creative at BCM