Signal 30 is a 1959 social guidance film made by the Highway Safety Foundation in the vicinity of Mansfield, Ohio. The film, shown widely to high school students across the country during the 1960s, was produced by Richard Wayman and narrated by Wayne Byers, and takes its name from the radio code used by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for a fatal traffic accident.
Similar to Red Asphalt, Signal 30 features graphic footage of crashed automobiles and their horrifically injured and dismembered occupants. Despite its gruesome nature, the film later won the National Safety Council Award. It was followed by two sequels, entitled Mechanized Death and Wheels of Tragedy, and inspired a whole genre of similarly gory road safety films.
In popular culture
- The safety film was used as the title of an episode of Mad Men
- A heckling commentary soundtrack is included in comedian Michael J. Nelson's RiffTrax commentaries.
- Audio excerpts were used in the 2014 song of the same name by Public Service Broadcasting from their 2013 album Inform-Educate-Entertain.
- Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality 2014 0786470771 "The Highway Safety Foundation became a non-profit organization, and in October 1959 Signal 30 was screened."
- Field & Stream Apr. 1986 p.19 "Signal 30 was the call number for a fatal automobile accident, and that was what the film showed, in color, sound, and all the graphic detail you could want. When we left the theater, our faces were the same olive green as our uniforms, ..."
- William E. Jones Tearoom 2008 p.37 "Smith says that accounts vary on whether Signal 30 was an instant hit. But what his book calls "the first highway safety gore film" did win a National Safety Council Award and the endorsement of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Signal 30's success prompted Wayman and friends to start a for-profit production..."
- The film on YouTube (contains graphic imagery)
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