Friday, September 6, 2013

Truck Drivers and Other Road Users Hear Number One Way to Eliminate Drunk Driving

Police Use 'Talking' Urinal Cakes to Persuade Drinkers Not to Drive
Shipping News Feature

US – WORLDWIDE – In the battle to ensure safety on the road we have covered a vast range of policies, tactics, technology and products to try and communicate, particularly to the road haulage community, advice and information which makes for a safer environment. For the past few years an innovative advertising item which is aimed purely at a male audience, and let’s face it most truck drivers are still men, has been available, but more often lately it is being used to discourage drunk driving – talking urinal cakes.

A while ago Schiphol airport fitted its urinals with decals showing a common house fly, it seems fellas just can’t resist a target when relieving themselves, and the effect upon cleanliness in the bathrooms was seemingly immediate. Other designs apparently are also proving popular including sniper bullseyes which glow in the dark, sport themes and even yellow duck motifs, but this latest initiative along the same lines has a more serious intent.

The aptly named Wizmark company primarily produces urinal cakes for advertising purposes (although why you would want anyone wizzing on your company product is somewhat puzzling). Now however police and traffic officials in New Mexico, Michigan, Colorado and elsewhere have been using the cakes to deter drunk driving. When targeted, a message ‘speaks’ to the ‘customer’ and this is backed up by the script atop the cake.

Usually the aim is to persuade people not to drink and drive whereas, in this scenario, the aim literally tells someone who is already drinking to avoid driving, the more you drink, the more times you get the message. You can hear a demonstration of the ‘talking cakes’ in action HERE advertising a TV show.

The cakes have a 3.5 inch display screen and are actually activated by motion sensors which play the sixteen second message after giving the guy time to get settled. As can be seen by the photograph, other socially responsible messages can also be broadcast. The normal 'don’t drive drunk' script runs:

“Hey there big guy, having a few drinks? Then listen up! Think you had one to many? Then it’s time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight, don’t drink and drive! Remember, your future is in your hand.”

It may not be the most palatable method in the war to maximise road safety but a captive audience is absolutely assured as, when it comes to unavoidable events, visits to the bathroom sit right up there with death and taxes.