60k versus 65k

An add in Melbourne took a while to click in (for me!): it represented a woman projected on the hood of a car with the legend 65k and the same woman prostrated in front of the same car with the legend 60k… I was seeing this ad every day when driven to Monash and could not see the point as I was interpreting 60k as 60kg! So it sounded like a weird campaign for a new diet… After a while, I eventually got the point that it was a campaign towards speed reduction and against drivers thinking that 60km/h does not differ much from 65km/h. (I could not find a reproduction of the campaign posters on the official site.) Besides this misinterpretation, I find the message rather unclear and unconvincing: while driving more slowly obviously gives a driver more time to react, the 60k/65k opposition could be replaced with a 55k/60k opposition and would not make less or more sense. Furthermore, the variability in driver’s reactions and car behaviours is likely to influence the consequences of an impact as significantly as a reduction of 5km/h…

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