- As part of its latest campaign to get drivers to better respect pedestrian crossings, the SAAQ manufactured a pop-up fence at a crosswalk in Montreal.
- The prank not only surprised Montreal pedestrians and drivers but also generated a contentious debate on social media.
- Do you think Montreal needs crosswalks like these?
There are different ways to get a message across to make yourself understood and heard. There's a direct way, which involves using your words, or an indirect way, like the SAAQ's tactic of camouflaging a pop-up fence to force drivers to stop for pedestrians.
Every time pedestrians cross at a crosswalk, they're doing it at their own risk since the people driving in traffic barely ever want to let them pass. Despite signage and awareness campaigns, the conflict between drivers and pedestrians seems to persist.
Well, the Société de L'assurance Automobile du Québec has decided to share a message to drivers in a rather unusual way. A striking new advertisement for pedestrians and drivers alike has generated quite a conversation on social media.
The advertisement depicts real pedestrians who decide to cross a crosswalk at the corner of rues Saint-Hubert and Gilford in the Plateau. At first glance, it all seems very banal. But when the pedestrian arrives at the street corner and a driver is too close to them, this all gets spoiled.
The famous yellow lines painted on the ground turn out to be signs that rise suddenly and force the car to brake to let the pedestrian make their way in peace. The message "This crossing protects pedestrians. Thank you for stopping," is written across one of the pop-up panels.
You can see the drivers (and pedestrians) very confused.
The video has been shared by more than 1,500 users and some people on Facebook have had very strong reactions to it.
Everyone has their own opinion about it, of course. But at some points, the SAAQ felt like they needed to add some witty responses.
On its website, the SAAQ reports that, according to the 2017 road safety report, there were 2,697 pedestrian victims, 69 deaths, 246 serious injuries, and 2,382 minor injuries.
There was also an 11.3% increase in deaths from 2016 and a 25% increase over the average of the last 5 years.
The moral of this advertisement: if you're driving or cycling and you're approaching a pedestrian crosswalk, you brake.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.