365 Alive is a campaign the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is conducting to battle the twin evils of fire and, er, bad driving. A clear example of external categorisation based on an organization’s internal procedures there.
But the campaign has been somewhat successful, with road deaths halving from 2006 to 2007. Admittedly, the former year was one of the worst ever: a statistician would frown on it as data too suspect to draw any conclusions from; reporters at the Oxford NewsquestMailAndTimes treat it as headline fuel. Oxfordshire’s assistant chief fire officer Dave Etheridge was quoted by the Oxford NMAT as saying: “The passion I get from the campaign is knowing we can make a difference. It’s about educating the future of this county how to drive safely.”
In this context it’s a shame that they’re incapable of educating their own drivers. This morning the driver of a white van overtook me as we both went round a blind T-junction, from one bit of Cuckoo Lane to another. He was going at a fair old lick on the opposite side of the road as he rounded the corner.
I couldn’t see whether or not the driver had his fingers crossed or was rubbing some sort of lucky charm as he bombed past; but I did spot the Service’s name emblazoned along the side of the van. I think—although it all happened rather quickly, certainly too quickly for the driver to have reacted to any oncoming traffic—I could also see the little yellow “365 Alive” triangle beneath the standard Service rubric.
Remember, kids: logos don’t save people; safety saves people.