Zero Doesn’t Work, Road Fatalities Increase

imageWe learnt yesterday sadly, that the fatalities on Australian roads have increased well over the rate prior to Covid.

Most Road Authorities in Australia have been singing the ideological tune of Zero for over 10 years. The worst ad in the bombardment of Zero on our TV screens is this one from the Transport for NSW ( The dumb binary nature of this campaign is an insult to anyone of intelligence. This is what Safety (the Archetype) parades as competence. The ad is framed at the same intelligence level of ‘when did you stop bashing your wife?’

There there’s the Victorian TAC Campaign that has been running for over 10 years based on the idea of insulting people as ‘idiots’, as if road accidents are a ‘choice you make’. The campaign has a strange strategy of calling ‘the mother of an idiot’ ( as if this will in some way have a positive effect.

This idea that insulating people is a successful strategy is not supported by evidence. Indeed, calling people wankers, pricks or idiots alienates people from any message and creates the projection because ‘I’m not an idiot or wanker’. And, I’m not a ‘selfish prick’ (

The Mentalitie of all this, is that Safety has the right to be ‘offensive’ and ‘hard hitting’. Zero is always used to justify brutalism and extremism.

But it doesn’t work indeed, it achieves the opposite. This is the Safety way.

Like many things in safety, the ignorance in semiotics drive the opposite ( Like using a stiletto as a symbol for women or a brick wall to symbolise learning. This is what Safety does well and then parades it as ‘thought leadership’.

Of course, last thing any of this Safety goop receives is critical thinking. Even when the data shows that none of these campaigns work, regardless of the billions spent on improving roads and vehicles, the last thing Safety does is question its own assumptions. Sunk Cost is alive and well in Safety ( I mean why should we consult an expert outside of the safety fortress? What could a Transdisciplinary approach possibly offer Safety in its engineering-behaviourist cocoon?

It is always amusing to watch Safety with no expertise in semiotics, graphic design, psychology of motivation, psychology of goals, symbolism, iconography and semiosis claim intelligence about what it does, on the basis of what it doesn’t know.

Clearly, none of these campaigns work!

So, what does Safety do? Double down in more of the same!

If you want to learn about Semiotics and the iCue Method in Europe, Dr Long is conducting workshops in Vienna from 26-30 June, you can register here:

If you want to learn about Mythology and Embodiment in Risk you can register for the workshops in Canberra ( in 18-21 September.

There is a positive, constructive and practical method to tackle risk that works ( and it is as easy as making the first enquiry.

But if you want to continue doing more of the same and projecting that it works, good luck.

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