VicRoads has today released an online campaign targeting young drivers, featuring a quirky new road safety crusader, Rodney.
“Rodney’s House of Whacks” is a series of four online videos, which have been developed to tackle serious young driver road safety issues through a humorous and unlikely hero, who delivers the message through his backyard experiments.
“Rodney”, and his sidekick and neighbour “Eric”, use whatever they have at hand to explore some of the key road safety issues surrounding young drivers, including speeding, drink driving, distraction or not wearing a seatbelt.
VicRoads Director Vehicle & Road Use Policy, James Holgate, said viewers are in for a rude awakening as Rodney’s online videos expose the grim reality of taking risks behind the wheel.
“Young drivers aged 18 to 25 years, are at greater risk of being killed than any other group of road users.”
“Inexperience, coupled with driver distraction and risky behaviour such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink driving, are key factors in many crashes.”
“Rodney” and neighbour “Eric” deliver a series of important, hard-hitting road safety messages through their backyard experiments that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.
“Viewers are confronted with supposedly graphic images of the effects of road trauma, using Rodney’s home-made “special effects and amateurish props including watermelons, skulls and bowling balls. They deliver powerful road safety messages that show what could happen to a person’s body if they are involved in a crash,” Mr Holgate said.
“The reality is we need a message that will resonate with young people. If they are going to watch a road safety video at all, it needs to involve someone they can relate to.”
“Rodney” and “Eric” provide exactly that. They are familiar, likeable characters who could be found in most neighbourhoods around Victoria. Only this unlikely pair are on a mission to bust the myths surrounding road safety.
“Reality hits home when you see what can and does happen when you take risks on the road. The notion of not wearing a seatbelt because it’s only a short drive away is thrown out the window as Rodney shows you it can have dire consequences,” Mr Holgate said.
“Rodney’s House of Whacks” may be presented in a funny way, but the messages these two characters are delivering are real, confronting and shocking.”
“All it takes is a split second, that moment of distraction, whether it be reaching for your mobile phone or driving only a few kilometres over the speed limit, for disaster to strike,” Mr Holgate said.
Rodney’s House of Whacks shows the viewer how one bad driving decision can have devastating consequences.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government released a new ten year strategy, Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022 to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by more than 30 percent.
A key part of the first action plan is to target young drivers, who are at significantly higher risk than other road users.
Rodney’s House of Whacks is an online campaign based on a YouTube channel. The channel hosts four short videos and nine teaser clips.
For more information on how VicRoads and the other road safety partners, Victoria Police, the Transport Accident Commission and the Department of Justice are working to reduce road trauma visit roadsafety.vic.gov.au. Check out the videos online now at youtube.com/Rodney