Digital projections shock drivers that try to park without a handicap sticker in Russia

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated May 05, 2015 01:15 PM

If you’ve ever considered parking illegally in a handicap space, this message is for you.

Russia-based nonprofit Dislife.Ru recently developed a powerful social experiment called More than a Sign to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and to encourage drivers not to wrongfully take spaces reserved for them.

The organization partnered with advertising agency Y&R in Moscow to create hologram projections to spook drivers that try to park without the windshield handicap sticker. It installed the digital signage in business centers and shopping malls – including Europe’s largest mall Aviapark.

Here’s how it works:

As a car approaches, hidden cameras detect the presence (or lack) of a handicap sticker on the windshield. If there is no sticker, a hologram of a person with disabilities suddenly appears in the parking space. (The image is projected on a backdrop made of a thin-air screen saturated with water mist that is invisible to human eyes, according to a video that details the project.)

The graphic appears to comes to life with audio: “What are you doing? 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.”

As part of the project, drivers’ reactions to the holograms were filmed. The video clip captures drivers jumping out of their cars to examine whether the person before them is real.

Dislife estimates that more than 30 percent of people behind the wheel in Russia don’t respect the signs on the ground in special parking spaces.

“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.

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