Local News

Ad Aimed at Teens Pitches Driving to Live

Posted January 25, 2007

The state Thursday kicked off a new television advertising campaign aimed at encouraging teenagers to speak up for slowing down rather than tolerating peers’ reckless driving.

Hundreds of teenagers are involved in deadly car crashes in North Carolina. Nationally, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teenagers. On average, 300,000 teenagers are injured every year in car crashes in the U.S. and more than 3,500 are killed.

The fact has been far too familiar in the Triangle in recent weeks. A Wakefield High School student died last week, and his school has lost six students in the past year in car crashes.

Two North Johnson High School County teens died last weekend in a crash.

“This encourages young people who are riding with people who are driving recklessly to speak up,” state Attorney General Roy Cooper said. His office is sponsoring the campaign, which is called “You Are the Spokesperson” and is aimed at grabbing the attention of 15-to-21-year-olds.

In one version of the ad, two boys are talking in a moving car.

“You are so lost,” one says.

“No, I'm not, man,” the driver replies as the car weaves and rocks.

As a backseat passenger looks frightened but is silent, an adult who looks and sounds like a bad late-night TV salesman gets into the moving car’s back seat.

“How would you like to save your life from an ugly reckless driving death?” he asks “Don't answer yet. There's more!”

Cooper said he knows it’s a tough sell, but he said he’s hopeful.

“You don't have to die,” the salesman says.

“He's right, we should slow down!” one front-seat teen says to the other.

The ad’s take-home message comes after the salesman makes his pitch to the teens in the car.

“That's awesome! In the real world, there is no spokesperson to prevent reckless driving. There's only you.”

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  • kcfoxie Jan 26, 2007

    The obvious solution is to stop giving kids fast cars. I realize that was not the case in every accident cited, but in many of the fatal ones -- where there are no survivors -- a fast car is often at the heart of the wreckage. 4cyl, manual transmission. Parents, make your kids learn to drive with the most unfriendly car around and your kids won't fly off the onramp (I'm living proof! You just can't take a 1986 4-banger above 70, it just won't do it.)

  • 777 Jan 26, 2007

    whoever came up with this idea has no recolection of what it was like to be a teenager. Here's what the impact will be:

    ::Billy watches ad and gains the courage to speek up to his friend::

    Billy: "Joe, you shouldn't drive so fast!"

    Joe: "Shut up, Billy, you're such a douchebag!"

    other friends in car: "yeah Billy, you're a tool!"

    ::Joe Drives faster, everyone continues to insult Billy::

    Billy: "oh guys, i was just joking, making fun of that stupid ad on TV!" ::laughs nervously::

    To a teenager, the fear of dying is miniscule compared to the fear of rejection by peers.

  • bsmith17603 Jan 26, 2007

    I hope this works . I hate hearing about young teens being killed.

  • truckchic Jan 26, 2007

    Sounds like a good idea, but how many teens will pay attention and take it to heart? Obviously some or most are not practicing what was taught in driver's ed, so why would they listen to this?

  • diwanicki Jan 25, 2007

    I hope adults and teens alike take a moment to watch it. If you do it right, you will get the message across, but like jerlou said if one teen pays attention it could save money. The same goes for adults.

  • atheistswillserveinhell Jan 25, 2007

    I hope that it works. Reading about the tragedy of young people getting hurt or worse because of inexperience is getting old. Kids; slow down......

  • Dixe Jan 25, 2007

    Awesome, If one teen pays attention, it could save many!