Know-It-All New Yorkers Don't Know Speed Limit

NYC DOT Pushing 30 MPH Message Pretty Hard

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New Yorkers think they know everything. It's true. Want proof? Next time you're visiting, ask for subway directions. For maximum enjoyment be sure to ask a group of New Yorkers so that you'll get multiple answers to the same question and, more than likely, set off an argument. But apparently they don't know the speed limit in the city.

Full disclosure: I didn't either until this ad campaign from New York City's Department of Transportation went into heavy rotation on NY1 (and elsewhere). In the spots, various New Yorkers expound on things you might not think they'd know about. Women talk about the New York Giants' offensive scheme; a hot-dog vendor talks about outsider vs. insider art; a construction worker talks about recent trends on Broadway. (See them all here.)

I think the ads have a certain 80s vibe to them, but they certainly get the point across: The speed limit is 30 mph and that's because "a pedestrian struck at 40 mph is 3.5 times more likely to be killed than one struck at 30 mph." And the ads work without using scare tactics. Of course, this being Mike Bloomberg's New York, they couldn't give up on gruesome completely. A print ad features a child's face juxtaposed with a skull.


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