Transforming Spain's Traffic Victims Into Heroes

Harnessing Google Maps to boost safety

In an approach that leverages Google Maps, NGO StopAccidentes transforms traffic accident victims into guardians of Spain's roadways who warn drivers not to suffer the same deadly fate. 

The campaign places markers on digital routes where people perished, their photos prominently displayed and stories retold. This should, in theory, boost drivers' awareness of possible hazards and instill a heightened sense of caution.

The NGO worked with HeimatTBWA to create Spanish and English-language videos across YouTube, social media platforms and on the StopAccidentes site. These clips memorialize accident victims as "heroes saving lives."

"This project is deeply emotional as it represents real people—families who have endured the heart-wrenching loss of their loved ones," says Daniel Guiu, a copywriter at HeimatTBWA. 

StopAccidentes hopes to expand the initiative to the U.S., U.K., Europe, and beyond. 

"For the first time, people and NGOs from around the world have the opportunity to utilize this common feature of Google Maps to honor victims of traffic accidents in their respective countries," says Guiu. "Individuals and NGOs worldwide can participate by creating their own pins to memorialize victims of road accidents. This means that any country in the world can be adorned with these meaningful markers, serving as poignant reminders of the lives lost and the importance of road safety."

Guiu says its locations have already garnered over 100,000 visits on Google Maps.

"We believe that if we're not seen, we're forgotten, and it's in this digital era that we have the means to ensure our presence is acknowledged,” Guiu adds. "Leveraging platforms like Google Maps, which are integral to modern navigation, we can 'hack' it to make safer roads."

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