Old TV

UK television adverts 1955–1990

Public information: road safety

Give pedestrians with prams time to cross the road: c.1960

Every Saturday morning, my mum takes me shopping in the pram. ’Course being Saturday morning, everybody’s rushing to spend their wages by lunchtime, and nobody gives way to a pram.

Last Saturday we pushed out from behind a parked vehicle …

[cartoon baby continues talking as pram is pushed out between parked vehicles, and then jumps out and continues]:

This is where I get out and walk, and I’m staying out of that pram till mums and motorists realize:
Crossing with a pram takes TIME!

Mums and Dads: use pedestrian crossings: c.1960

This is me,
This is my Dad,
That’s my sister,
This is my Mum … and my Nan.
She always waits there.
(Nan stands looking out window holding baby).
She worries when we’re not all home.
Mum and Dad worry when I am.
“Mind you don’t burn yourself “
“Dry yourself properly “
“You’ll ruin your eyes “

And every Saturday morning when me and Mum go shopping my Nan always tells me to look out for the traffic. Me! It’s Mum she should be telling…. When she wants to get to the shop opposite, she just takes off; she doesn’t bother with the crossing.

We’ve been told at school not to go between parked cars, but to use the crossings and my Mum says that’s quite right when you are young.

At home it’s all that “sit up and eat up otherwise you won’t grow up to be big and strong and healthy “. And outside, where there are cars and lorries and buses driving past, my Mum should be wearing L-plates crossing the road! Good job she doesn’t drive.

My Dad does and he’s very careful. But he doesn’t always practise what he preaches.
Me and him had been up in the park Sunday morning, then he remembered we hadn’t brought the car. I started walking towards the subway and he tells me it would make us late for our dinner.

It’s very funny how grown-ups can always be right, even when they’re wrong.
(Father steps out into road with dog without looking and is almost run over)
Now, if anybody had tried that when he had been driving, he’d have done his nut!
(Boy leads his Dad towards the subway)

The best though was when I was with Mum. Me and her were on our way home after getting me more shoes. Anyway, we had to cross the road. And she didn’t even see the car coming…
(steps out between parked cars and is almost hit by passing car)
She was about to tell the driver what she thought about him, and he was out of the car to do the same.

And do you know who he was?
My dad, in our new car!
We could have all finished up as misfits.
And you tell me how they would’ve explained THAT to my Nan….
(Nan stands looking out window holding baby)

Watch out for deaf children

Watch that child: he might be deaf!

Don’t let your children play on a busy street (1973)

Under your feet is better than under a car.

Dip your headlights

Child: Ooh, have your eyes gone funny, Daddy?

Father: No dear, I didn’t look.

Voice-over: Dip, don’t dazzle.

Think bike: 1978

A tragic, needless accident.
But why did it happen?
The driver checks the traffic on his right:
The road seems to be clear, and he pulls out.
But if we look again from the driver’s angle, we can see his problem.
Visibility isn’t good, but if only he’d checked again, he would have seen the motorcyclist approaching.
That car driver will be more careful next time.
For the motorcyclist, there isn’t going to be a next time.
So motorists: be particularly careful at junctions.
Think once.
Think twice.
Think bike.

[With Jimmy Hill]

Look out for bikes at junctions

Here’s a man looking around at a junction.
He thinks it’s safe to go.
But what he didn’t notice is a motorbike coming up on his right.

(Screech of brakes then CRASH)

Look out for bikes when you turn right!


Every trip. (Jimmy Savile)

Get yourself seen on your bike at night

Dark means danger, so get yourself seen
At night, make it white,
In the dark make it light,
But get yourself seen.

Take a brush to your bike,
Use some tape if you like,
But get yourself seen.

Make it big,
Make it bold,
Make it bright!

To be sure that you’re seen
Keep your lights bright and clean,
But get yourself seen.

Whether working for a living or just riding for your pleasure
Let the world see your life is something that you treasure
And get yourself seen,

Make it big,
Make it bold,
Make it bright,
And get yourself seen!

Highway Code

Look right, look left,
And look right again
If all clear,
Quick march!

Green Cross Code (1)

(Two children attempt to cross a busy road — screech of car brakes and beep-beep)

Child: Look, it’s the Green Cross man!

Green Cross man:
Looks like you two need a lesson in crossing the road!
My little friend [a robot] is going to show you how!
First, find a safe place to cross — a safe place away from parked cars
where you can see the road is clear and drivers can see you.
Stop near the kerb — but not too close!
Look all around and listen for traffic.
If traffic is coming let it pass.
When there is no traffic near, walk straight across —
Looking and listening all the time.
We won’t be there when you cross the road —
So always use the Green Cross Code!

The Green Cross Code (2): 1976

Jon Pertwee: Here’s how to remember the Green Cross Code.
First find a —
Safe place to stop. Stand on the —
Pavement near the kerb.
Look all around for traffic, and listen.
If traffic is coming, then let it pass.When there is —
No traffic near, walk straight across the road.
Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross.
Well now we’ll all remember the Green Cross Code, and use it. SPLINK!

The Green Cross Code (3): 1976

Kevin Keegan: Hey! What do you think you’re playing at? Come here!
That’s no way to cross the road, is it?
Come over here. I’ll show you a safe place to cross.
Now, here! There’s no parked cars to block your view.
Nothing coming? Sure?
Off you go!
Straight across, mind!
And keep your eyes open — it’s part of the Green Cross Code!
Take it from me: be smart, be safe!

Ice cream van: late 1970s

Narrator: This is what happened one day when the ice cream van stopped by Tufty’s house.

Tufty: Ice cream!

Narrator: And Tufty goes to find his mummy.
Tufty always asks his mummy to with him to the ice cream van.
But Willy weasel has gone off to get an ice cream by himself!

Tufty: Oh dear! Oh mummy! Willy has been knocked down by a car!

Narrator: Now Willy has been hurt … and all because he didn’t ask his mummy to go with him to the ice cream van!
When you want to go to the ice cream van always take mummy with you!

[with Bernard Cribbins]

Wear something light at night (1967)

Sung to a guitar by a Scottish lorry driver driving at night in poor visibility

Music!Beware when walking out at night
The streets and lanes may not be bright
If you should meet with lorry or bus
It's best to be conspicuous.

The owl sees well through rain and murk
But for us it's awful work
The dazzle and the dark prevent
Anticipating accident.

We say it doesn't matter to us
As long as you're conspicuous
A light raincoat or hat is swell
A shopping bag will do as well.

Just use your ingenuity
And wear a garment we can see
We say it doesnt matter to us
As long as you're conspicous.

And make sure that you face us where
We like to see you're there,
Be safe be bright, wear something light,
Wear something light at night!Music!

Drinking and Driving (1): 1982

John Altman: Most of us reckon we can handle our motors after a few pints.
Take it easy and you don’t attract the law. But what if some stupid git does this?
Or this?
Or this?
Those few pints have just cost you your licence! So who’s the stupid git now?

Drinking and Driving (2): c 1982

Fancy a jar? Forget the car.

Back to Public Information Films (1)

© Stephanie Jenkins
& Joan Williams

Visitors since January 2006: