In Australia, Spotify warns drivers to slow down near schools

·2-min read
Spotify has joined forces with the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) on a road safety campaign in Queensland.

If you find yourself hitting the gas to get your kids to school on time, watch out, because Spotify has got you in its sights. The music streaming site has joined forces with an Australian nonprofit to encourage Queensland drivers to slow down near school zones.

Spotify is loud and clear in its zero tolerance approach to speeding on roads near schools. The Swedish music streaming giant has teamed up with the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) to launch the "Slow Down Songs" campaign in Queensland. The aim is to warn drivers that they need to slow down in areas close to schools by playing them music that slows down to deliver a road safety message.

While the project may sound surprising, it could help raise awareness among Australians about the importance of sticking to speed limits in zones frequented by children and young people. "Every school day, our children are in danger. Despite higher visibility in signage and crossings, many drivers still speed through school zones, often ignoring the 40km speed limits in place," explains Andrew Thompson of the Brother & Co agency, which worked with Spotify and the ARSF on the campaign.

And while it can be relatively easy to ignore or miss road signs, drivers can't fail to notice the music on their Spotify playlist suddenly changing. And it's precisely this element of surprise that the "Slow Down Songs" campaign taps into. According to the Brisbane Times, this initiative relies on Spotify's ability to geotarget drivers when they come within five kilometers of a school zone in Queensland.

A musical reminder

Once identified by the streaming service, drivers will be played one of 10 songs that have been specially adapted to encourage them to slow down. The tracks all start normally before suddenly slowing down to make way for a road safety message, then speeding up again. Local artists like The Jungle Giants, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Shag Rock all donated songs to be edited for the campaign.

For the moment, only drivers in Queensland will be played these new-gen safety messages, although the initiative could one day roll out across Australia. Plus, the campaign currently only works with Spotify Free users, but the organizers hope to be able to expand it to all the streaming site's users in the future.

"People don't realize that speeding, even a few kilometers over the limit in a school zone can be the difference between life and death, so we're tackling the casual attitude towards speed in school zones to prevent the fatal or serious injury of our children," said ARSF founder, Russell White.