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California

Metro finds ‘right mix of gruesome and levity’ to encourage safety (and prevent decapitations)

Los Angeles County transportation officials are using a scared straight approach to encourage rail safety.

In a new series of public safety announcements, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority warns about the danger of being decapitated, dismembered — or pulverized. Thankfully it uses a fleshed-out stick figure character to make its case.

Metro released the videos on Wednesday that show the gruesome reality — albeit in cartoon style — of being killed by a train.

The “Safetyville” campaign by Metro has received nearly1 million views on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram combined.

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The Blue Line is one of the deadliest light-rail lines in the country and with the addition of the Gold and Expo lines in Los Angeles, the social media team at Metro wanted to come up with an attention-grabbing way to teach safe practices.

“We had 19 miles of new Metro line in parts of the country that haven’t had rail services in decades,” said Dave Sotero, communications manager for Metro. “The behaviors in the videos are universal. They would apply to any rail services we have.”

The Metro social media team worked with the safety department to come up with a way to effectively illustrate the many ways passengers could put themselves in danger. 

Sotero said the videos are inspired by the Metro Trains Melbourne video, “Dumb Ways to Die.”

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John Gordon, social media director for Metro, said the reaction to the series has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

“I think people get it,” he said. “We hit the right mix of gruesome and levity.”

Check them out below — they’re like scenes from a “Final Destination” film.

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alexia.fernandez@latimes.com

Twitter: @alexiafedz

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