A road safety campaign in Australia has caused offence for some motorists and MPs, due to what is mostly implied on three billboards on roads acrossÂ Southern AustralianÂ .
The three giant billboards that have caused particular offence, start with the phrase ‘not to drive like a…’ following a picture of an object or animal, referring to a known offensive word.
The least offensive billboard informs Australian motorists ‘not to drive like a knob’.
The signs, placed prominently on a motorway running between South Australia and Victoria, have attracted a host of complaints from residents.
It prompted independent MP Bob Such to write a letter to road safety minister Jennifer Rankine, on behalf of his constituency, calling for their removal.
‘Three signs in particular were considered to be offensive and degrading to our state – namely those which used pictures to suggest that drivers should drive carefully and not be a w****r, a c**k or a knob,’ explained Mr Such.
‘In particular, the travellers felt the signs were an irresponsible and unfortunate introduction to visitors to SA.’
However the removal demand has been rejected by South Australia officials, with Ms Rankine arguing that the results of the campaign ‘vastly outweigh it being labelled as irresponsible’.
She said: ‘The campaign visually implies words that more closely reflect the everyday language of its target audience.
‘Judging the level of offence of a word is subjective. However, the Motor Accident Commission believes current community standards would not categorise the words used in the campaign as strong or obscene.
‘Prior research showed that campaigns using humour and regional residents using “real” language would be well received by the target audience.’
However despite offence caused to MPs, residents and some motorist, the odd campaign has so far proven to be a success. Showing encouraging results, with a reported reduction in drink driving, speeding and seatbelt non-compliance.