All about cycling in the Netherlands
Utrecht suddenly has little red men sitting on the traffic lights. They hold signs with texts like “red alert!” or “follow the red lights!” and a QR-code and the name of a website “itsredman.nl“.
When you go to that site you see a video that starts with the texts “Somewhere on a junction in the Netherlands…, where traffic meets, your patience could be rewarded.”
It’s Red Man
The final caption in the video says: “Traffic safety must be celebrated!“.
The site gives only little information: “Hurray 10 years TeamAlert! Traffic safety must be celebrated! And today just a little bit more than usual, because TeamAlert is 10 years old. In one decade the number of traffic deaths went down by half. Yet every traffic death is one too many! TeamAlert strives for zero traffic deaths and we will act to achieve this goal.”
There is no link, but you can easily find out who or what TeamAlert is. As it turns out it is an organisation for a better road safety “for and by young people”. Originally started by the national government but it became an independent foundation on 6th March 2003, so that is indeed 10 years ago today. They’re trying to get the ‘traffic safety’ message across to young people aged 12 to 24 because that age group didn’t respond well to the ‘ordinary’ traffic safety campaigns.
The ‘red-men’ project is not new, the video was recorded in November 2012. Apparently they thought was also nice to use it on their anniversary.
The little red men had predecessors: the barbie dolls that could be seen in the city centre of Utrecht last year.
The team had great fun filming this: the making of can also be seen.