France sets up terrifying digital displays to stop jaywalkers in their tracks

Recent research conducted by a team at Strasbourg University in France found that in 40 percent of cases, pedestrians there cross the road even when there’s a red light instructing them to wait.

There are rules against such behavior in the European nation, though people are rarely punished if they scuttle across on a red. However, considering that in the Paris region alone more than 4,000 pedestrians are hit by cars on the streets every year, the folks in charge would really rather you stayed put till the light turns green.

In an effort to highlight the issue, French road safety body DRIEA teamed up with ad agency Serviceplan to create a system to scare the bejeezus out of these wrongdoers in the hope that it might make them reconsider their risky street-crossing habits.

Set up recently beside several crossings around Paris, the kit consists of a large digital display with motion sensors, a camera, and speakers. Every time someone crosses on a red, the sound of a car’s screeching tires blasts out of the speakers, in all likelihood causing the walker to believe they are about to die.

But that’s not all. When the screeching noise sounds, the display’s built-in camera also takes a photo of the pedestrian’s petrified expression and immediately sticks it up on the display.

With their heart pounding and legs wobbling, the panicked pedestrians in the video (above) spot their mug on the screen and go to take a closer look. As they approach the display, they’re presented with the message: “Don’t take the risk of staring death in the face. Respect the traffic lights when you cross the road.”

And as if that wasn’t enough humiliation, photos of the pedestrians’ terrified faces are currently being used on posters nationwide and as part of a Facebook campaign to promote road safety.

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