Archive search unearths fascinating road safety films

Bexley old vid pic

A search prompted by Road Safety Week 2016 has unearthed a number of fascinating road safety films that ‘focus on the capital’s chaotic roads and attempts to control them’.

The eight films, hosted in London’s Screen Archives (LSA), span the past 70 years.

They include an amateur film (pictured above) about a road safety campaign by the Bexley, Erith & Crayford Road Safety Committee (1962), an Enfield Council film aimed at schoolchildren (1987) and a film by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (1948).

The unnamed individual who located the ‘gems’ said: “Whilst researching LSA’s extensive collection of archive films of London, I came across a number of fascinating films that focus on the capital’s chaotic roads and attempts to control them.

“Watching these road safety films made me question if their messages are much softer than those of similar advertisements made today. Perhaps the dangers were less extreme too?

“Whilst on my own commute, weaving my bicycle around flung open car doors or a disused phone box abruptly cutting off the cycle-path, I often wistfully imagine a less congested commute in a time gone by. Did fewer commuters and less congested roads mean less danger? Were the hazards similar to those facing road users today?”

LSA, the regional film archive for London, comprises a network of film archives and organisations that hold archive film. Managed by Film London, it aims to bring screen heritage alive for the Capital.

23 November 2016