Road safety campaigner Peter Olsen has renewed calls for the banning of the NRMA television commercial featuring babies crawling along roads, in light of yet another incident of a toddler being found on a road.
“At 8.30am yesterday morning a two-year-old girl was found wandering along Park Ave at Kingswood,” he said.
“It was the third such incident since the start of the NRMA’s current Motorserve ad campaign.
“The NRMA has stuck its head firmly in the sand on the issue and refuses to accept that its commercials could influence impressionable young children.
“The toothless Advertising Standards Bureau cannot see anything wrong with the commercials either. That is hardly surprising given its ongoing refusal to enforce the ban that exists on motor vehicle commercials that feature speed and illegal driving.
But the NRMA doesn’t agree.
“The NRMA does not believe there is any link between an incident of a toddler in Sydney and the television commercial for MotorServe,” said a spokesman.
“Incidents such as that unfortunately have occurred long before the NRMA aired its advertisement and also occur in other parts of the country and indeed overseas, where the advertisement has never been aired.
“The advertisement leaves viewers in no doubt that the larger-than-life sized babies are metaphors for vehicles.”
Mr Olsen challenges this: “When a baby crawls along beside another baby, the other baby in the foreground will look much bigger than the buildings in the background. At that age they have no concept of perspective and depth. Hence those ads depict EXACTLY what a baby mind sees.”
Mr Olsen’s main campaign has been to install flashing lights at School Zones, many of which lack them under RTA policy. He says his installations work better at a fraction of the cost of the RTA installations.
by Michael Gormly