Northern Ireland's road safety office is getting a lot of press about an extremely graphic public service announcement in which a classroom of preschool-age children on a field trip are squished dead by a reckless driver. It's pretty awful. The goal, according to road safety officials at the Department for the Environment, is to deter speeding.
But it wasn't the first time the department has made people squirm over a commercial. In 2007, the DOE paid for this horrific, 60-second video in which a speeding driver swerves, rolls, and smashes into a young couple necking against a wall. The boy dies pinned to the crushed legs of his lover. In the YouTube comments, somebody in Great Britain wrote, "I remember my mum would never let me watch this. She'd cover my eyes, and I would just listen. Even now, when I hear that song I get this horrible feeling in my stomach. I don't think I've ever seen the whole ad."
The DOE defended its latest video, in which 31 children die all at once. They represent the number of deaths of children from speeding in Northern Ireland since 2000. "The aim of this campaign is to challenge and dispel, once and for all, through this emotional and uncomfortable message, the false perceptions that many road users have as to the truly horrifying consequences of speeding," Mark Durkin, the head of the DOE, said in a statement published everywhere, including the Daily Mail. Truly horrifying is right. Watch the videos below at your own risk.