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Release Date 1975
Sponsor Central Office of Information for Department of the Environment
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The ‘Green Cross Code Man’ was famously played by Dave Prowse, the man who later starred as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies. Designed to bring the Green Cross Code “to life”, Prowse (a 6'7" tall body builder and former Mr Universe) became the road safety superhero character for 14 years.
The ‘Green Cross Code Man’ series was a part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of the Green Cross Code. Introduced in 1971, the Code procedure was designed to enable pedestrians to cross streets safely. The campaigns specifically targeted children, who in the early 1970s accounted for half of all casualties on the road.
Following the launch of the Green Cross Code, casualties dropped by 11 per cent. But six months later the rate was as high as before. The need to constantly relay road safety messages explains why pedestrian public information films were so frequently released.
In 1975 the number of children killed on the roads had fallen to 505, the lowest since the 1950s. By 2003 the figure was as low as 171 children. But with as many as 3,929 children being seriously injured on the roads each year, the work of road safety campaigns is far from done.
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