This week the Gardai unveiled their 600 strong speed camera network and their website buckled and crashed under the volume of visitors visiting to view a map of the camera locations. But given the economic doom and gloom which abounds at the moment, could the Gardai have taken a different approach to this road safety initiative and taken a leaf out of Volkswagen’s books?

This week VW revealed the latest installation in their ‘Fun Theory‘ campaign which proposes that ‘fun’ can change human behaviour. The car manufacturer launched the ‘Fun Theory Award’ to recognise those ideas that best prove the ‘fun theory’. The winning idea came from an American who came up with the notion of a ‘speed camera lottery‘. The idea was road-tested in Stockholm in association with The Swedish National Society for Road Safety.

Watch this video…

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iynzHWwJXaA&feature=player_embedded

The Gardai have said the speed camera rollout has nothing to do with revenue generation and is focussed on reducing road fatalities. So the Speed Camera Lottery would certainly have been a transparent and creative way to make people rethink their road speed and embrace the initiative.

The Gardai do deserve some praise for some innovative thinking of late. They are now using Flickr to post pictures of lost and found items to try and reunite them with their owners. The Flickr account was set up in August 2010, and since launching the ‘lost and found’ scheme the Gardai report a positive response from the public. Four Dublin Garda stations are participating in what is currently a pilot programme. The Gardai also maintain and regularly update a Facebook page.