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Arts and Entertainment

Stick Figures Meet Their Maker In Metro's Gruesome New Safety Videos

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It's a beautiful day in Safetyville, and Joan is catching up on her friends' posts as she heads to school, a cheery female narrator intones over a black-and-yellow animation of a texting stick figure walking alongside a line of Metro rail tracks and flipping through what appears to be Instagram. Joan, this time your phone obsession has really crossed the line, the narrator continues as distracted stick figure Joan accidentally crosses the yellow safety line and gets hit by a speeding train, landing with a loud SPLAT!Uh-oh. Joan's friends aren't going to like this picture, the narrator deadpans.

Welcome to "Safetyville"—a place where animated stick figures who don't follow Metro's safety warnings die gruesome, Darwin Award-winning deaths. Poor dead Joan is the stick figure star of one of four short "Safetyville" PSAs released by Metro this week. The videos are grisly and hilarious, and certainly succeed in getting the viewers attention.

"These videos are edgy by design because we want these messages to stick... A lapse of attention at a rail crossing or unsafe behavior at a station can have dire if not deadly consequences,” Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas told The Source.

As Metro spokesperson Anna Chen explained to LAist, the opening of the Expo Line and Foothill Extension have brought a large number of new riders to Metro, and the agency wants to make sure "our safety message came across loud and clear" for all the new riders. Metro's new "Safetyville" videos were inspired by the legendary “Dumb Ways to Die” PSA produced by the Melbourne Metro in 2012.

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"We weren't trying to copy them, per se, but wanted to present something that's a little catchier and a little more impactful [than what you would normally see]," Chen said.

The four videos (all of which can be viewed below) were produced in-house, and an additional two spots will be released soon. Thank you to whoever approved these.

And here's the Australian inspiration:

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