Dark, graphic and funny: LA Metro launches edgy safety campaign videos

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
LA Metro launches edgy public safety campaign videos
A new campaign launched by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority uses cartoons to promote safety.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched an edgy new public safety campaign using cartoon characters.

The series of animated videos from Metro has received some laughs despite its dark content, but officials said the videos were made to help save lives.

In the videos, stick figures living in a fictitious place called "Safetyville" are killed by passing trains when they fail to follow Metro's rules for safety.

Joan, a student, was hit by a train while looking at her mobile device. And Jose was killed when he failed to stop his car before the safety lines at a rail crossing.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," John Gordon, Director of Social Media for Metro said. "We tried to be provocative on purpose and people are responding to that."

The video series has been the most successful for Metro in terms of views.

"We didn't want to tell people about rail safety. We wanted to show real consequences. In the modern world, we're competing with the public's attention on Facebook and so we have to be intentionally provocative. We have to break through," Gordon explained.

While many may find the videos funny, Metro said its message to the public is no laughing matter.

The new Gold and Expo line extensions will expose thousands of new riders and drivers to trains. Metro hoped the videos would go viral and that their message would be heard.

"We just wanted to cover our bases and make sure that the public knew that when you're riding trains and when you're driving near trains that you need to be careful. Trains are no joke," Gordon said.