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Regulating Car Ads to Discourage Unsafe Driving

Dangerous driving is a common feature of U.S. car ads, but other countries have banned this advertising because it glorifies reckless behavior.
June 5, 2019, 10am PDT | Camille Fink
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Alexandre Prevot

Angie Schmitt writes about the issue of car ads depicting dangerous driving and steps that have been taken to prohibit them. Canada, Singapore, Australia, and countries throughout Europe have banned advertising that shows reckless, dangerous, or aggressive driving, but these ads are still common in the United States.

"A Dodge ad last year, for example, features cars doing donuts around each other in a parking lot while people stood nearby clapping and cheering," says Schmitt. Regulations in other countries have been successful in shifting the focus in ads from the performance features of vehicles to safety and environmental ones.

Research also shows that such bans can make a difference, notes Schmitt. "In 2010, a number of car ads depicting power, speed and acceleration were tested on child subjects in a research study, which found they did, in fact, promote acceptance of dangerous driving behavior."

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Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in Streetsblog USA
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