Rapping Doctor Takes On Speeding New Yorkers

Yes, speed kills, and yes, we've heard it all before. But have we heard that excessive speed causes more deadly car crashes in New York than distracted driving and drunken driving....combined? And have we had the message delivered by a white-coated rapping physician named Dr. Clarke? Well, no, at least not until now.

Dr. John Clarke created his rap to the Stop Speeding Summit that Transportation Alternatives is organizing with NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Dr. Clarke is no stranger to rapping his PSAs - he's done raps on the H1N1 flu virus (show above) and also on HIV. This new rap, entitled "Drive Safe New York" isn't even his first foray into transporation - he's done a "mind the gap" rap about taking care on subway platforms.

According to Transportation Alternatives, speed figured in 2,900 of New York's crashes in 2008, and was the top factor in car accident fatalities. So the organization is bringing is speakers, most notably from Britain's 20 is Plenty program, to talk about the virtues of slowing down on city streets.

You can listen to Dr. Clarke's catchy rap here.

Lyrics below:

It's Dr. Clarke and I'm glad to be, back up in the Factory,
To spit another rap to see, prevention of a tragedy.
No need to speed, 20 miles per hour's actually,
The recommended speed to avoid a fatality.

"Slow down!" is something that you've heard before,
The situation's bad, but I ain't talking 'bout the Jersey Shore.
Yeah, yo we could save a life with this!
Protecting them, everyone: Pedestrian, Cyclist,

Senior, Jogger, Mother, Child, or Father.
The risk of death increases over 20 miles per hour!
Slow to react, if you drive too fast,
Can't brake quick enough! No surprise! You crash!

Hit someone doing 40, 70% chance you kill them.
At 30, you give them an 80% chance of living!
At 20, only 2% chance you kill the victim.
We should try 20 mile per hour zones like in England!

CHORUS

New York! Drive safe! Stay alive!
Please pay attention to the speed when you drive!
20 mile per hour zones, prevent driving fast!
Make streets safe and stop a deadly crash!

New York! Drive safe! Stay alive!
Please pay attention to the speed when you drive!
20 mile per hour zones, prevent driving fast!
Make streets safe and stop a deadly crash!

VERSE 2

It's kinda crazy 'cause, children they're afraid to just,
Go outside and play because, speeding cars are dangerous.
Streets of New York could be a safe place they could trust,
20 mile per hour zones will help make it safe for us.

Careful at the crosswalk, walk cross the street right,
Look both ways, wait for the green street light.
If you're a driver, make sure, to wait for,
Pedestrians to cross, you've got to yield, it's the State law!

Facts are surprising, that's why I'm rhyming,
Speed causes more deadly crashes than drunk driving!
Crashes be increasing in the afternoon and evening,
November, December, Holiday Season.

Speed's the number one cause of deadly crashes here in New York,
Costs lots of cash when you crash, this is true talk.
Solo on the microphone, but I know I'm know I'm not alone,
Hoping for promotion of the 20 mile per hour zone!

CHORUS

New York! Drive safe! Stay alive!
Please pay attention to the speed when you drive!
20 mile per hour zones, prevent driving fast!
Make streets safe and stop a deadly crash!

New York! Drive safe! Stay alive!
Please pay attention to the speed when you drive!
20 mile per hour zones, prevent driving fast!
Make streets safe and stop a deadly crash!

Surprisingly, the 20 is Plenty movement has had good traction in the U.K. and is now gaining adherents in the U.S. Hoboken, NJ recently started a voluntary 20 mph speed limit program, NYC has committed to launching one neighborhood-wide 20 mph zone in 2011, and Portland is working to put 20 mph ones in some "neighborhood greenway" bike-friendly streets.

Read more at TreeHugger about the evils of speed:
Volvo Makes a Car That Stops for Pedestrians and Bikes
55 MPH: It's Time to Bring it Back
Speeding Driver Kills Nearly an Entire Flock of Sheep

Tags: Transportation

Best of TreeHugger