The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is using two 1980s songs in radio public service announcements (PSAs) in a new campaign to remind motorists to look out for motorcyclists. As Allison Sylte writes for 9News, the campaign seeks to prevent accidents in which vehicle drivers collide with motorcyclists.
There are two PSAs in the campaign. Both feature a man with a cartoonishly raspy voice. One of the ads starts with the sound of a motorcycle and then goes into the man singing “I always feel like, somebody’s watching me…” from the song “Somebody’s Watching Me.” The original version of that song was released in 1984 on the Motown label by the artist Rockwell, featuring Michael Jackson on the chorus and his brother Jermaine on additional backing vocals, according to Wikipedia. This is not the first time this song has been used in a TV commercial. One of those uses was a cover version by Mysto & Pizzi, Electro/hip hop artist/DJ/producers, in a Geico commercial.
In the other CDOT PSA, the same gravelly-voiced man sings a line from the 1985 Simple Minds song “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” “Don’t, don’t, don’t you forget about me,” the man sings. He then says, “Hangin’ a left,” before the announcer speaks. The song is best known for being played in the beginning and end credits of the film “The Breakfast Club.” As Wikipedia reports, it was written by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff (guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band).
As Sylte writes, 40 motorcyclists have been killed in Colorado this year in motorcycle accidents, 97% of them men. And although motorcycles comprise only 3% of vehicles on the road, they represent 18% of fatalities, Sylte writes. Throughout the U.S., motorcycle fatalities happened 26 times more often than deaths of passenger car occupants, per vehicle mile traveled, CDOT writes. The fatalities peak during summer months, when more motorcyclists take to the roads, CDOT writes.
The leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes are head injuries, CDOT writes, pointing out that 715 lives could be saved every year if all motorcyclists wore helmets. Colorado does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets, CDOT writes.
CDOT’s Live to Ride program helps motorcyclists, no matter what their skill level, to ride safety, have fun, and stay safe and alive. The program features three main safety messages:
Get Training: Lack of training is a factor in Colorado’s fatal motorcycle crashes. Motorcycle riders were found to be at fault in 7 out of 10 fatal crashes.
Ride Sober: Impaired riding is also a major problem. 36% of riders killed in motorcycle crashes in 2011 were under the influence of alcohol.
Wear Proper Protective Gear: Nearly two-thirds of the riders killed in Colorado last year were not wearing a helmet or were wearing it incorrectly.