“Am I crazy or is that urinal talking to me?” …You’re not crazy, but you may be a target of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) latest anti-drunk driving campaign. The CDOT is installing talking urinal cakes in bar restrooms across the Rocky Mountain state to dissuade men from drunk driving.
The motion-sensing cakes, known as Interactive Urinal Communicators, detect a male patron as he approaches a urinal and then plays a short audio clip that starts with “keep a constant stream on this urinal cake and let’s see how drunk you are…”
"As soon as you start your business, it plays for 15 seconds, stops and then is ready to play again for the next person," CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford described to The Denver Post.
Although the plan may seem unconventional, and ostensibly sexist, the CDOT has its reasons for targeting men. Of the 190 alcohol-related driving fatalities in Colorado in 2012, 36 percent were men between the age of 18 and 36.
The devices are part of the state’s new The Heat Is On campaign that is testing new approaches for conveying anti-drunk driving messages. For instance, the ad campaign is switching the classic “Don’t Drink and Drive” slogan to “Drink and Don’t’ Drive." The CDOT is hoping this subtle change will get more people to listen.
"As we've learned over the years, when people hear 'Don't Drink and Drive,' a lot of times they just tune it out," Ford continued. "We recognize people make that choice to drink. We just want them to do it safely and get home safely."