KiwiRail Outdoor, Ambient, Design & Branding The Conscious Crossing [image] by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

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The Conscious Crossing [image]

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Industry Railways, Traffic safety
Media Outdoor, Billboard, Poster, Transportation & Vehicles, Ambient, Design & Branding
Market New Zealand
Agency Clemenger BBDO Wellington
Executive Creative Director Brigid Alkema
Creative Director Emily Beautrais
Art Director Steve Hansen
Copywriter Jp Twaalfhoven
Designer Steve Boggs
Production Flare
Released August 2016


Clio Awards 2017
Innovation Product/Service: Medium Innovation Silver
Product Design Product/Service: Other Silver
Out Of Home Product/Service: Ambient Bronze

Credits & Description

Agency: Clemenger Bbdo Wellington
Client: Kiwirail
Executive Producer: Christina Hazard
Account Director: Claudia Zwimpfer
Agency Producer: Carly Neemia
Agency Producer: Carne Godfrey
Account Manager: Fern Holloway
Dop/Editor: Dan Monaghan
Camera Op: Ollie Stent
Tracksafe Nz Foundation Manager: Megan Drayton
Rail Safety Week Co-ordinator: Kirsten Kilmister
Art Director: Steve Hansen
Copywriter: Jp Twaalfhoven
Creative Director: Emily Beautrais
Designer: Steve Boggs
Executive Creative Director: Brigid Alkema
The more often pedestrians use the same rail crossing, the more likely they are to become complacent and walk onto the tracks without checking, particularly at crossings where expensive warning systems can’t be installed. The Conscious Crossing interrupts this over-familiarity by continually changing the crossing environment. The cost-effective set of gates can be reconfigured an infinite number of times, forcing pedestrians into the moment every time they cross. Designed with human nature in mind, anyone can change it into any layout, any time, actively helping to keep others safe.
At less frequented pedestrian railway crossings, expensive warning systems can’t always be installed. These crossings pose a risk to human life every day, a fact reflected in the 28 New Zealanders who were killed, injured or who experienced near misses at railway level crossings with no warning infrastructure last year.
At these crossings, it’s left solely up to pedestrians to check for potential dangers. But overfamiliarity with the crossing environment often leads them to become complacent with its risks – causing them to inadvertently put themselves in harm’s way.
KiwiRail’s core objective was to make more people consciously aware of the dangers before crossing, to prevent more people being killed or injured at them. With traditional warning systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, our challenge was to find a smarter, simpler solution that would switch peoples’ attention back on, for a fraction of the cost (less than NZD$15,000). One that could ultimately help save lives at all 122 railway level crossings throughout New Zealand.
Research shows something needs to have changed within a familiar environment for people to consciously engage with it. Our strategic approach was therefore to create a new way to keep the railway level crossing environment fresh and unfamiliar.
We set out to solve the problem right at the moment of risk, with a system engaging pedestrians’ brains and changing behaviour in the crucial moments leading up to crossing the tracks.
The system couldn’t rely on power to operate, or be time and labour intensive to install. And our budget was small (less than NZD$15,000). So it had to be smart, simple and cost-effective.
The Conscious Crossing was installed to constantly alter the environment around railway level crossings. An interactive, cost-effective series of moveable gates, it constantly changes to make the familiar unfamiliar, engaging pedestrians’ brains and switching them from autopilot to alert, right at the moment of risk.
Designed with human nature in mind, anyone can easily alter the gates into any layout, any time – empowering people to take an active role in keeping fellow pedestrians safe, creating an ongoing cycle of safety.
Produced for NZD$7,800 per unit (plus site-specific installation costs), the system is cost-effective and easy to install, without relying on power to function. With eight distinct positions for each of the ten barrier arms, the layout can be changed into 45,239,040 unique configurations, keeping the crossing environment ever-changing, for a fractional cost of other warning systems.
Through observation during initial trials, The Conscious Crossing has proven to directly and positively affect pedestrian behaviour.
Following its success, it’s currently being pushed through more extensive testing by KiwiRail and NZTA, with long-term aims of implementing it at the other 122 similar crossings throughout New Zealand, a roll-out that could positively impact the thousands of pedestrians who use such crossings every day.
Easily installed and cost-effectively produced, The Conscious Crossing has the wide-reaching potential to provide a simple, long-term solution to keep pedestrians safer at railway level crossings throughout the world.