How the simple drinks coaster is saving lives

The danger of being hit by a car while walking home at night has been radically reduced with a simple reinvention of a common bar accessory.

At night, the dimly lit roads of a South African informal settlement are a nightmare for pedestrians, who are often walking back from taverns and shebeens alone or in small groups and are almost impossible to see, particularly if they are wearing dark clothing.

This poor visibility results in thousands of people being knocked over and injured or killed at night every year by drivers who are simply unable to see them until it's too late.

Local liquor distributors Edward Snell & Co. Pty Ltd, and advertising agency Y&R South Africa, have come up with a solution. Together they have turned the ordinary drinks coaster, usually used as an advertising medium, into a lifesaving addition to any drinks order and named their invention the Reflector Protector.
The 9cm wide coaster has been designed with reflective scotchlite film on one side with instructions for its use on the other. The side with simple call-to-action peels back to create a sticker, which can then be attached to clothing. A Reflector Protector is given to every bar patron and can be seen shining in car headlights from up to 150 metres away.
The Reflector Protector is a creative re-invention of a common bar accessory that dramatically increases the visibility of the wearer and consequentially, their chances of arriving home safely.
The Reflector Protector was given to bars for free as part of the activation in key areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town. These bars include Moshate Ya Moshate and Magogo's Place in Katlehong, Johannesburg; Soni's Inn and Letube's Place in Soweto, Johannesburg; Tankiso, Nyanga East and Amadoda in Woodstock, Cape Town. The plan is to hand out many more again during high incident dates over the holiday season towards the end of the year.

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