You may know him as Darth Vader, but do you know that David Prowse – the actor that played Darth Vader on Star Wars – was the face of the UK’s government’s road safety campaign – as the Green Cross Men– for 14 years?
In an article opinion in 2014, the actor said that “(was) the best job I’ve ever had, including my Star Wars role, and by far my proudest achievement. When the campaign started in the mid-70s, there were 40,000 children every year who became road accident casualties – a terrible statistic which needed to be addressed, which was why the Green Cross Man was created”.
He filmed a series of road safety advertisings that were regularly shown on television and also travelled around the UK visiting schools talking to the children and educating them on “STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK”
David Prowse was thrilled to wear suit again and become the Green Cross Man for road safety week in 2014. According to the actor, “adults and children need educating about the importance of paying attention while on the road, especially with the many distractions of modern living”.
He was shocked to learn that the “Stop, look, listen and think” words have been ignored in the present.
The original Green Cross Man films ran in the days before pedestrians walked around while looking at their smartphones or listen to music in their headphones. “Now it appears adults are completely out of practice with road safety”, explained the actor.
“Many people will know me for being the ultimate screen villain, Star Wars’ Darth Vader. But being a “goodie goodie” and heading up the Green Cross Code campaign, helping to save thousands of lives has always been the ultimate honour. Road safety is a real passion for me”, conclude David.
By the end of the campaign the number of children involved in road traffic accidents had been halved, down to 20,000. It’s been estimated that the original Green Cross Code campaign saved as many as 250,000 children from being injured or killed on our roads.
We know that the Green Cross Man may not be there every time that a pedestrian cross the road, but you can use SERNIS products to guarantee that they cross it in the safe way. Explore SERNIS Road Safety products here.