How to Drive Safely, According to a Martian-Filled 1959 PSA


This midcentury driver’s education film somehow manages to connect aliens, reckless driving, and Biblical teachings with the help of a whimsical talking car from Mars.

Rusty is a Martian spy sent to Earth to search for a more hospitable planet because Mars is running out of oxygen. In this world, Martians look like cars (well, sort of like cartoon lips with wheels), and admire Earth’s Christianity.

Rusty is “captured” by a man who drives him willy-nilly around the city, blowing through stop signs and crashing into other cars. The Martian also observes another weird human behavior: Drunk driving. “Some of them even like getting loaded and blasting off in two tons of steel aimed for trouble,” he says. “They rarely miss.” He cites accident statistics, then connects it to Christian values about concerns for the rights of others. “The right of way is not as important as God’s right way,” Rusty proclaims. “Reckless driving is a sin!” He eventually leaves the planet for more cautious worlds. 

The religious teachings are a little unusual for the typical driving school, but it makes more sense once the credits roll, revealing that the film was produced by the General Board of Temperance of the Methodist Church. Remember: Jesus loves road safety! 

[h/t: Public Domain Review]