A unique public safety message that was ostensibly billed as a billboard advertisement for a funeral home went up on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway last year.
“Text and drive,” the billboard for Wathan Funeral Home proclaims, encouraging drivers to engage in the deadly practice to give it more business.
But those who looked up and went to the supposed company’s website found the real reason for the ad:
If you’re here, you’ve probably seen our “Text and Drive” billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you’d be right.
It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we’re not a funeral home.
We’re just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which, if current trends continue, is expected to exceed fatalities from drinking and driving as early as next year. And while most people wouldn’t even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That’s more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers’ lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.
The billboard was produced by a Toronto ad agency looking to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving. The website says that though most people understand the dangers of drinking and driving, more than half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while driving. This, while deaths from texting and driving in Canada are on track to surpass deaths from drinking and driving as early as this year, 2017.
In the U.S., 46 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving.
Fake funeral home advertises with ‘text and drive’ billboards [via The Miami Herald]