Sunday, February 20, 2011

SpeedKills? You betcha

Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. In Victoria, around 300 people die each year in road transport crashes [1]. The Transport Accident Commission’s a Victorian Government-owned organisation involved in promoting road safety (and road trauma compensation) [2]. In Victoria’s far north west sits, or rather sleeps, a tiny hamlet called Speed [3]. It’s named after a railway commissioner. Its population’s 45. Noting that speed’s a major cause of road crashes, the TAC came up with the idea of Speed changing its name to SpeedKills. It offered to donate A$10,000 to a local charity if more than 10,000 people supported the campaign on Facebook. Reaching that target took under 24 hours. Then the TAC offered to double its pledge after local farmer Phil Down agreed to change his name to Phil SlowDown if 20,000 ‘likes’ were recorded [4]. The total now stands at over 33,000 [5]. So last Friday the new signs went up, and the TAC presented a A$20,000 cheque to the Speed (aka SpeedKills) Lions Club [6].

P.S. The new names of the town and the farmer will last only a month.
P.P.S. The TAC said five small towns called Speed had been identified in the US, and would be approached to see if they’d also change their name to SpeedKills [7].

P.P.P.S. The TAC’s a sponsor of the F1 Grand Prix [8] and MotoGP [9]. Ho hum.

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