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Road Safety? There’s A Dance For That.

Can social platforms Spotify and TikTok really change driver behaviour? Earlier this year the Australian Road Safety Foundation teamed up with Spotify and leading musicians in Queensland to tackle the issue of road safety in school zones.

The partnership aimed to get drivers to #ChooseRoadSafety by using geo-targeting features to locate when a car would be driving towards or in a school zone. Those who were both within 5km of a school zone area and were using Spotify would then automatically have a ‘slow down song’ inserted into their personalised playlist.

Songs would slow down to 10% of their original speed, play a slowdown message and then return to normal.

Privacy and algorithm concerns aside, the decision to play and slow down the songs worked in parallel to the way a car would when driving towards a school zone sign – playing normally, slowing down and then returning to normal speed. While the Spotify project remains a pilot, other organisations are taking note.

Take the Industry Road Safety Alliance South West in WA for instance, which has recently turned to TikTok in an attempt to get participants – mainly younger users – engaged in a road safety awareness competition.

Red Stop Sign

The #BeatDropRoadSafety competition arranged by the organisation is asking users to compose a dance to the Bee Gee’s ‘Staying Alive’ or their own composed song while incorporating a road safety message into their dance. Users then post the video along with the ‘BeatDropRoadSafety’ hashtag to go into the draw to win up to $500 worth of prizes.

With 76 deaths occurring on regional Western Australian roads, and a further 44 on urban roads, the challenge will hopefully spread road safety messages further than a traditional campaign would.

The thinking behind the campaign makes sense; with so many of our youth still being affected by road accidents or trauma, social media could be the way to go. Throw in the incentive to win prizes with social media’s virality and it could be a recipe for success.

With the power to propel messages to our youth, could this lead to a new wave of road safety messages?

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