New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Insurance Industry, Odds and Ends, Personal Injury


January 7th, 2007

Geico and New York’s Port Authority: Making Life More Dangerous

You really can’t beat the irony. New York’s Port Authority wants to let Geico put giant billboards up at it’s George Washington Bridge toll booths touting “safety” according to a New York Times story late last week (sub req.)

Why irony? Because the billboards will intentionally distract drivers as they approach the tolls. That is, after all, the basic idea a billboard — a distraction from driving to read the sign. This will be done in a spot with lots of stop-and-go traffic and lane-changing. According to the article, the signs:

will include the posting of a huge billboard on top of the toll plaza in Fort Lee, N.J., that says “Geico Drive Safely.” Drivers will also see Geico signs with the company’s mascot, a gecko, on the tollbooths and electronic signs on the approach roads.

Busy toll plazas are undoubtedly one of the more accident-prone pieces of roadway. I bet the toll workers and policemen that need to constantly walk that area are thrilled to have more distractions for the drivers.

Geico will pay $3.2M for two years for the ads. So I guess money trumps safety for the insurance company and the Port Authority that operates the bridge. The more things change in this world, the more they stay the same.

[Addendum: One day after this blog entry, the Port Authority cancelled the agreement, though the New York Times article said nothing about safety issues.)

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