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New road for advertising campaign

New road for advertising campaign

A new television ad which went to air this Sunday (22 February) marks the beginning of the next phase of road safety advertising in New Zealand, aimed at mobilising the silent majority of law-abiding drivers to speak out, reject dangerous behaviour on the road and turn up the heat on those who continue to offend.

The LTSA/Police road safety advertising and enforcement campaign is one of the most effective public education initiatives ever seen in New Zealand. Public awareness has been raised, driver behaviour has improved and independent evaluation shows that the campaign has saved 300 lives since its inception in 1995.

Until now, road safety advertisements have been aimed squarely at offenders - showing offences being committed and depicting the consequences for the offender, often graphically.

But while the campaign has been successful, with drink-driving and speeding crashes down and seatbelt wearing up, the people who continue to offend are becoming harder to reach as their numbers get smaller.

"Persistent offenders don't always listen to advertisements, but they may listen to their partners, their families, their friends or their workmates. That's why our new advertisements are aimed at society as a whole. We must increase demand from New Zealand society for an end to the type of dangerous driving which puts all of our lives at risk," said Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright.

New ads two of two The ultimate goal of road safety advertising is unchanged - to reduce deaths and injuries from road crashes. The ads will also continue to focus on the areas responsible for the greatest number of deaths and injuries: drink-driving, excessive speed and failure to give way at intersections.

But while the subjects are the same, the messages used and the audience they are aimed at are different. The advertisements have a new manner and style, using facts, figures, physics and real-life stories to build community ownership of road safety and a wholesale rejection of dangerous driving.

"We want people to say 'I don't want to share the road with someone who is prepared to kill my family and friends', and we want them to say it out loud - to let offenders know that their behaviour is unacceptable to the rest of us," Mr Wright said.

The first ad to incorporate the new approach features the story of Jacqui Hesketh, a Rotorua mother whose daughter Tanya was killed by a speeding driver in July 2000 as she drove home to have dinner with her parents.

Subsequent advertisements will use crash survivors, scientists, trauma surgeons and others to demonstrate the effect of crashes on victims, their families and entire communities.

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