Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RTD Public Safety Snafu - F-Bomb Slips Into Children's Safety Video

Denver's RTD, the mass transit for the Colorado capital's 7 counties, recently opened the West Line, a light rail line 12.1 miles long serving the west Denver suburbs as far as the Jefferson County "Taj Mahal" government center in Golden. It resurrected the rapid transit line that ran along 13th Avenue built over a century ago. This is the first line of the long term Fastracks plan to be completed. RTD deserves its fair share of congratulations. Not only did they deliver the first portion on time, but their contractors also contributed to the community through the project. Unfortunately, a public organization like RTD is not immune to mistakes.

As part of the effort to smooth the changes a newly active light rail line will inevitably cause, a safety video was created, with animation and voice-overs aimed specifically at children. The video is titled "Safe Routes To School

A specially designed mascot named Fastracks Freddy tells the kids about light rail. It's a tame, paced affair that leaves the conscious mind with little more than the basic rules of keeping oneself out of harm's way.

Still shot captured from YouTube Monday afternoon;
the offensive text has been intentionally screened
However, at roughly 1:59 into the video, a plainly visible F-bomb is displayed on the backpack of a person walking away from the camera. It's hard to imagine that with such care taken to educate the kids, something that plain could make it past the production team. If they had pixelated the text or removed the shot, no one would have noticed. The video hosted by YouTube had been viewed over 500 times.

Same shot with location highlighted
The 5 1/2 minute safety video was produced by the City of Lakewood and KLTV8 T using funds from the Safe Routes to School program.

Scott Reed, a spokesman for RTD, was not aware of the video Monday afternoon, but later contacted Colorado Railroads, saying, "We contacted KLTV8 television in Lakewood, who produced the video and posted it on YouTube through their website.  They are pulling down the video tonight and will edit it appropriately."◊

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