Does this anti-jaywalking campaign go too far?


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Jaywalking. We’ve all done it. In most places, it’s a crime and it can be very dangerous, but it’s not as bad as stealing or running a red light, right? Perhaps not, but thousands of pedestrians die each year in the United States, many of them while illegally crossing roadways. And while the numbers are strikingly fewer in Canada (just a few hundred each year), Quebec has released a powerful anti-jaywalking campaign aimed at getting citizens to reconsider the risky behavior.

Earlier this year, the Quebec government put an interactive billboard up in a bus stop. The billboard is just a black screen until someone passes by, at which point people can see a skeleton version of themselves mimicking their motions.

In a video Quebec made about the billboard, several people stop to dance, pose or even just wave at their skeleton selves. It’s all good fun … until it isn’t.

After a few seconds, a car careens onto the screen, smashing into the skeleton. The passersby jump, gasp and yell as they see their skeleton selves crushed by the car.

Then these words appear: “Bone vs. steel. You don’t stand a chance. Cross at intersections.”

At the end of the video, one passerby says what we’re all thinking: “It’s striking.”

Not everyone liked the campaign, especially on Twitter where — let’s be honest — most topics these days get roasted, no matter how innocuous. Here are a couple of examples:

Watch the shockingly powerful PSA for yourself here:


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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.