Australian Town Changes Name from Speed To SpeedKills

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The town Speed has become SpeedKills for the month of March.

Courtesy of Victoria Transport Accident Commission

What’s in a name? A PSA, apparently.

The tiny town of Speed, Australia, home to just 45 people, is revving up a high profile campaign to change its name to SpeedKills for the month of March. After a Facebook campaign that gained more than 30,000 supporters, the town’s residents are swapping their highway sign to promote safe driving.

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But this is no small-town shenanigan. The state Transport Accident Commission noticed a 25 percent increase in deaths on rural roads in 2010. The organization took their pitch to the town now formerly known as Speed, located 400 km (250 miles) northwest of Melbourne in Victoria. If the Facebook campaign garnered more than 10,000 likes, the town would rename themselves to SpeedKills for the month, in exchange for a charitable donation from the commission.

A SpeedKills resident is also thrusting himself into the fray. Local farmer Phil Down is becoming Phil SlowDown for the month of March. While the town in the Australian Outback doesn’t see many visitors, they’re hoping their name change will put them on the map. “It’s virtually on the road to somewhere else, so we’ve taken our quirky name and run with it … to get people to slow down on country roads and especially through small towns,” Down told Australia’s ABC News.

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Maybe the name change will help drivers slow down enough to realize they’re driving on the one road through Speed, anyway.