Hey ’80s Babies: Does this slogan ring a bell: “You Can Learn a Lot From a Dummy. Buckle Your Safety Belt.”
Crash-Test Dummies Vince and Larry taught a generation that seat belts can save lives. On Wednesday, the former PSA stars began their retirement in Washington. The US Department of Transportation has donated Vince and Larry’s crash-test dummy costumes, “severed limbs,” and other articles related to their groundbreaking driver safety education campaign to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Between 1985-1998, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and The AD Council promoted highway safety through a public service movement starring actors dressed up as talking crash-test dummies Vince and Larry. The ad spots — which used slapstick humor to promote a message — aired on television and radio, and appeared on the pages of lifestyle magazines. Their popularity inspired toy lines, cartoons, and even a video game.
“We learned a lot from Vince and Larry about the importance of buckling up,” Transportation Secretary LaHood said during an induction ceremony at the Smithsonian Institute this morning. “They are a part of American culture and became household names while educating the public on seat belt use. Their message still holds true today.”