Silly Video Instructs Philly Residents to Wear Bubble Wrap on Streets

"It's Road Safety Not Rocket Science" takes a humorous approach to a PSA.

ByABC News
April 10, 2015, 12:44 PM

— -- Heads up, Philly.

No, literally, you need to lift your gaze up from your phones.

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities in Philadelphia wants to prevent accidents resulting from distracted drivers and pedestrians absorbed in their mobile devices. The office's latest tactic to raise awareness? A new, silly video that seems more like an "SNL" skit than a PSA.

"It's Road Safety Not Rocket Science" jokingly recommends building bubble-wrap safety suits to protect people from oncoming cars so Philly residents never have to miss a social media update on the go. Because that's the obvious solution for avoiding death, right?

Jokes aside, traffic safety is a serious issue in Philadelphia, said Andrew Stober, chief of staff for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities.

"On average, every five hours a pedestrian is hit by a car in the city," Stober told ABC News. "It’s really important to us that we’re making Philadelphia a safer place to get around."

To combat a rising number of pedestrian deaths and injuries that occurred between 2009 and 2012, Philadelphia was one of three American cities awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year.

The $525,000 in funds designated for the City of Brotherly Love is being used for increasing police visibility, ticketing during high-risk hours in 20 high-crash locations, and marketing to reach residents.

"We particularly wanted to target young adults, ages 18 to 24 and 24 to 35," said Stober, whose office worked with the LevLane Advertising agency to produce the video. "And we wanted to find a way to engage them in a place where they spend a lot of time, like online."

But will the kids think "It's Road Safety Not Rocket Science" is cool?

"I think the video is funny and is a good way to get to the point without looking like its trying to preach at people," said Philadelphia resident Christa Poblete, 35, a public relations consultant unaffiliated with the project. "But it's a bit long and people might not get to the end of it."

Poblete's friend Kate Kosarek, a fellow Philadelphia resident, also liked the video.

"It reminds me of something the show 'Parks & Rec' would have done," she said. "Similar style and tone."

Kosarek admitted that she has at times pulled out her device in the driver's seat.

"I have texted when driving," she said. "I try to make a point of being stopped when I do it. But I don’t really text when walking – I get frustrated when I walk behind people who do this so I refrain."

While Stober said his office did not have data supporting the idea that those over 35 put away their phones more often on the road, "you do tend to be less risk-taking when you’re older," he said.

To view the complete video and learn more about the campaign, visit