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© content copyright Sussex Safer Roads 2015


America Supports British Road Safety Message

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American public officials and citizens have put their support behind ‘Embrace Life’, a new road safety Public Service Advert which exploded out of the UK following its release onto YouTube on Friday 29 January. At the time of writing, ‘Embrace Life’ has been viewed over 1,717,291 million times, is the most viewed film on YouTube this month, the 4th ‘Top Rated’ film this month and the 39th‘Top Rated’ YouTube film of all time.

‘Embrace Life’ is the brain child of Writer/Director Daniel Cox which was brought to life by Producer Sarah Alexander and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) Communications Team. It is designed to reinforce the need for vehicle drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts through a positive approach. Having received over 1.4 million views worldwide since its release, and now ranked inside the top 100 ‘Most Rated’ YouTube videos of all time (and climbing), ‘Embrace Life’ is showing a new way forward for road safety advertising.

Neil Hopkins, Communications Manager for the SSRP, explains:

“’Embrace Life’ was created from the belief that motorists and advertising audiences are ready for a change from shock-tactic advertising. With horrific images on news feeds, in TV shows and films, we believed that the audience could be becoming desensitised to shock tactics or horrific imagery. If the audience is desensitised, or physically repulsed by an image, the chance to open a dialogue with them is lost. We wanted to regain that ground by creating something that everybody could relate to and would be able to engage with.”

Daniel Cox, the Writer/Director of Embrace Life comments:

“A key element to bringing the audience into the conversation was to create the film without using dialogue and use visual storytelling techniques combined with the haunting and beautiful score. I’m delighted to see that since our launch we have had a huge range of viewers from around the world who have found the film accessible and responded to its positive message.”

Sarah Alexander, Producer of Embrace Life adds:

“The response has been truly overwhelming. When Daniel first came to me with the idea I was touched immediately by the human element, I’m thrilled that this seems to be impacting deeply on other people as well and hope the ad stays with them and encourages them to do the right thing.”

Support from the USA has included the Ted.Com team, where the PSA was shown at 11am PST immediately before James Cameron’s speech; Ryan Seacrest who embedded the YouTube feed onto his website; Adam Savage (Mythbusters) who felt that “[it] is one of the loveliest PSAs I've ever seen”; Ze Frank who blogged the PSA within four days of it being released; The Hollywood Reporter who also blogged about it, State Trooper Lonnie Wambach (Fargo, ND); Clay Co. County Sheriff Bill Bergquist (ND); and General B.B. Bell, US Army (Retired), who had this to say:

“Observing far too many needlessly lethal accidents over my thirty-nine year U.S. military career, I always sought innovative and hard hitting ways to get my troops’ attention, then positively impact them to observe safe driving habits.
While I have recently retired from active duty, I have now found what I was looking for. In less than a minute and a half, the video “Embrace Life – Always Wear Your Seatbelt” achieves what I sought for all those thirty-nine years. This video is a must view for all American military service-members and their families.”

In addition, the SSRP team have received emails from transportation teams, TV stations and public officials throughout the United States requesting access to the PSA for use within their communities.

The team have received further requests from Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France for broadcast rights.

Sarah Alexander, Producer of Embrace Life comments:

“As a Producer I’m very pleased with how well received and popular the advert is. Most importantly however I’m proud to say we have receive numerous communications from people telling us that they saw the ad and have consequently started to wear their seatbelt. To touch someone in this way is by far the greatest success of all.”

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