Don’t Die Before You Lived

Transport for London in November 2006 premiered a new road safety cinema ad tapping into teenage sporting dreams for the Olympics in 2012. The new ad, “Shattered Lives”, is the latest in TfL’s award winning “Don’t die before you’ve lived” campaign.

Shanice Williams shatters on the starting line at the 2012 Olympicso

The ad shows the dreams of Shanice Williams, a young athlete played by Melanie Purkiss, literally shattering after she walks out on to a road without looking – and into the path of a moving car. Rather than seeing her body thrown up in the air, we witness her body shattering into thousands of pieces. This is followed by other images shattering: a framed picture of Shanice with a medal; her running shoes; her team GB tracksuit; and finally, an image of her shattering as she leaves the starting blocks of the Women’s 100 metres final at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London 2012. The super: “Don’t Die Before You’ve Lived”.

Click on the image below to play the video in Vimeo

The TfL campaign aims to alert teens to the consequences of not paying attention when near to or using roads. The move to secondary school, and the increase in independent travel that tends to go with it, means that young teenagers (11 to 14-year-olds) are more likely to be involved in a road collision than any other age group.

Race for 2012 at Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: “This new road safety advert is a powerful reminder of the opportunities wasted every time a young person is tragically killed in a road accident. We want young people to be aware of the dangers of traffic, so that they can go on to fulfil their dreams such as competing in a London Olympic Games. Road safety is working in London, because we are spending more money on doing the things which we know save lives, but one death is too many and we are redoubling our efforts to meet even tougher targets.”

The Race for 2012 Inside Story on London’s Olympics bid at

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: “Many young Londoners dream of competing in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012 in their own city. It is particularly tragic when a young person is killed or injured on the roads as they have so many hopes and dreams. This campaign aims to warn them not to shatter those dreams by being careless near busy roads. We have made great progress in reducing casualties on the roads, particularly among young people, but there is a long way to go. I hope by using the prospects of competing in 2012 we will really get the road safety message across.”

Jenny Jones, Mayor’s Road Safety Ambassador, said: “Today’s teenagers are our hope for Olympic medals in 2012, but they are very vulnerable on London’s roads. Part of the solution is improving all road users’ awareness of the problem. This film will show film audiences how to help reduce the death and injury toll for young people so that London can have the safest roads in the world.”


The Shattered Lives ad was developed at M&C Saatchi, London, by creatives Tom Spicer and Kit Dayaram and agency producer Peter Montgomery.

Filming was directed by Daniel Kleinman, Kleinman Productions, (now Rattling Stick) with producer Johnny Frankel.

Editor was Steve Gandolphi at Cut + Run, London.

Visual effects were developed at The Mill, London, by VFX producers Austen Humphries, Will O’Connor, Flame artist Judy Roberts, 3D artists Rob Kolbeins, Mikko Martikainen, Xavier Zahra, Grant Walker, Andrew Cadey, assist team Paul Wilmot and Stef Coory and colourist Seamus O’Kane.