VIA Metropolitan Transit’s big, colorful buses are hard to miss in traffic.
Now the agency hopes to make drivers notice its passengers too.
VIA is one of several partners working with the San Antonio Police Department on a new campaign that includes some attention-grabbing public service announcements.
One of the five TV ads focuses solely on bus passenger safety.
"I stepped off a bus and tried to cross the street," says an actress in the ad’s voiceover narrative.
The story continues with her telling how she got off a bus, darted out in traffic and was killed.
Shot partially in black and white, the video shows a woman walking through a cemetery, then cuts to other actors portraying her grieving family.
While that scenario may seem to put part of the blame on the pedestrian, the warning also is aimed at motorists.
"If you are driving a vehicle and you're passing a bus, be sure to make sure that nobody's running from, and in front of, the bus and crossing into your lane of traffic," said Cory Chilcutt, chief of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s police department.
"If you're going to be crossing the street to get to a bus, be sure to do it in a crosswalk,” he said.
While the ad shows and tells about the dangers, it also is put together in an emotional way that’s meant to tug at the heartstrings.
"Since this is a different way of doing it, it might catch their attention better than just having a poster out there,” Chilcutt said.
The campaign includes four other equally emotional ads, also targeting pedestrian and driver safety. One of them was produced completely in Spanish.