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No more stick people: new traffic signs put human face on safety

One of the Go Human ads depicts a girl on a traffic sign to remind drivers of the human life at stake in collisions.
One of the Go Human ads depicts a girl on a traffic sign to remind drivers of the human life at stake in collisions.
Southern California Association of Governments Go Human

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Would you be more willing to slow down for a stick figure or a human being?

A new safety campaign is betting that using real faces rather than impersonal stick figures will better hit home the need for drivers to slow down for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Southern California Association of Governments launched its Go Human project in late September with a $2.3 million state grant for active transportation projects.

"Basically, it’s trying to remind people that the traffic signs that we see really represent human beings," said Meghan Sahli Wells, a Culver City Council member and SCAG official. "We all need to look out for each other."

The campaign includes freeway billboards, signs on buses and bus shelters and radio advertisements in English and Spanish across Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.

California has the highest number of fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians in the nation and L.A. has a higher than average rate of serious and fatal crashes involving school-age pedestrians.

The effort comes as the city of L.A. takes steps to cut traffic collisions to zero in 10 years under its Vision Zero initiative.

Tell us in the comments: will you drive more carefully if you see signs with real people versus those with stick figures?