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To Slash The Road Toll Follow The Retailers

29 December 2005

Media Release - Newmarket Business Association

To Slash The Road Toll Follow The Retailers

A business group representing the coutry's leading retail district says if the Government is serious about slashing the holiday road toll it needs to look and learn from retailers who have dramatically changed the New Zealand public's behaviour at this time of year.

"In recent years retailers have successfully turned what was a holiday season shopping slump into a spending spree by simplyappealing to people's stretched bank balances. Likewise, the only way to change the driving public's behaviour is for the Government to target people's back-pockets in a significant, clear and concise way," said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

"After Christmas the general public is pretty strapped for cash. That's why the Boxing Day sales phenomenon is going from strength to strength. The Government could learn at lot from retailers postively changing the public's behaviour and use the same philosophy to modify people's dangerous driving antics.

"The post Christmas period used to be a retailers nightmare but through clever marketing and bold financial incentives the public is now spending money at this time of year at record levels. It's been a huge turnaround.

"Likewise if government agencies like the LTSA were to cleverly market a raft of financial disincentives to the public, like significant instant fines for speeding during the official holiday period, the cash-strapped public would undoubtedly change its behaviour quite dramatically.

"Lifting the drinking age, hollow threats, and lectures from the police aren't going to have an impact on people's driving behaviour. If the Government wants to slash the road toll, it needs to promote a major disincentive. It needs to hit people's back pockets.

"Retailers have proven that the lack of disposible cash at this time of year has a huge influence on people's behaviour. The Government has got a big lesson to learn from the country's shop keepers if it wants to change people's driving behaviour," said Mr Brewer


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