Americans are talkers. We gab about everything, often very loudly. Sometimes we're criticized for that when we travel abroad, but whatever: we like to get out point across.
We're not entirely sure where this fondness for putting things into words comes from. A generous assessment would say that we like to communicate. A less-generous assessment would say that we're boorish and we love the sound of our own voices. All we know for sure is that our passion for words carries over into signage -- signage riddled with yet more words.
In America, for example, when we want drivers to watch their speed, we put up notices saying just that. In Vancouver, however, they're trying a more graphic approach -- one that uses artsy, trompe l'oeil painting to scare the living crap out of you.
Yes, they've drawn a child on the street. It's not as subtle as the "b" in "subtle", but it gets the point across -- and without words. (Though there are some of those on the signs leading up to the drawing.)
Credit goes to Preventable, the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, and the District of West Vancouver. There's more info about their joint safety campaign on Preventable's website, Preventable.ca.