The Green Cross Code Man - famous for his 'Stop, Look, and Listen' road safety advice - has returned to teach today's generation they shouldn't text or tweet while crossing roads.
In a new twist on the classic safety campaign, actor David Prowse, who first played the Green Cross Code Man 40 years ago, has added smartphone advice to his classic road safety warnings.
The new films were made in response to research by insurer More Th>n, which found that pedestrians between the ages of 25 and 59 are the most likely to be killed or seriously injured on UK roads, accounting for 36% of all casualties.
The research also indicates that 63% of adults regularly cross the road in an unsafe place and 87% will walk out into the road between parked cars.
The smartphone generation are no more savvy than previous generations either – 30% of pedestrians regularly cross the road while using the internet and social media on their phones, 40% while texting, 60% while on a call and 40% while listening to music.
The Green Cross Code Man became hugely popular in the 1970s, when he was launched as a safety superhero to teach kids how to cross roads safely. The public information films usually involved Prowse, now 79 and an MBE, teaching children where to find a safe place to cross roads. In later films, he was joined by a robot and there were even animated versions of the Green Cross Man.
The new films show Prowse – also famous for playing Star Wars villain Darth Vader – telling people off for failing to pay attention to the roads while listening to music and texting on their phones.
Prowse said: "Stop, look and listen: they've been the three basic pillars of road safety for decades, but they're being ignored en masse every single day. When the original Green Cross Man public information films ran, road accident rates reduced significantly. But that was in the days before pedestrians wandered around glued to their smartphones or wearing giant headphones, now it appears adults are completely out of practice with road safety."
The original Green Cross Code, which advised people to 'Stop, Look and Listen' now contains the following:
- THINK! about the road, stop talking on the phone and find the safest place to cross, then stop - avoid crossing between parked cars
- STOP! texting and tweeting when crossing the road
- LOOK away from your phone and look all around for traffic, especially bikes and electric vehicles that you can't hear
- LISTEN! for traffic, not your music. Take off your headphones and listen.
You can view the films at: http://bit.ly/11l5mKN.