Drastic Steps Taken to Combat Illegal Parking in Accessible Spaces

Claiming that a staggering 30% of Russian drivers ignore clearly marked disability parking signage, Russia-based not-for-profit organization Dislife concocted a bold plan to entice people to think twice. In partnership with ad agency Young & Rubicam, Dislife launched More Than A Sign, a social experiment which literally puts a face to the handicapped symbol.

Disability Accessible Spots Hologram

"Parking signs mean nothing for many drivers in Russia. They prefer to forget about the people 'behind them.' That is what we are fighting with in this project," said Yuri Kovalev, the founder of Dislife. 

Holograms Chastise People who Park Illegally

Here's how it worked in the parking garages of malls and business centers in Moscow. A car attempts to park in a spot designated for people with disabilities which has been specially rigged with cameras. If the camera's scan reveals a legal handicap sticker on the windshield, nothing happens. If it does not, a hologram of a person in a wheelchair instantly appears and yells for the approaching vehicle to stop.

"What are you doing?" the hologram asks, "I'm not just a sign on the ground! Don't pretend that I don't exist. Why are you surprised? This is a parking spot for the disabled."

The Person Behind the Sign

This project is genius on multiple levels. Technologically, the desired holographic effect is achieved with a projector and a thin air screen saturated with water dispersion. Emotionally, it's shocking. Imagine your visceral reaction when, suddenly, you are about to hit a human being with your car. You slam on your brakes and hear this person telling you about the challenges he faces daily. "Your only challenge is to respect my rights," he says.

In response, some drivers backed out and drove away. Some got out to examine the hologram more closely. But one thing was universal. They didn't park.

Only time will tell what lasting effects this provocative effort will have on these drivers. Here's hoping that they continue to follow the hologram's clear instructions to "find another place to park."

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