If we stopped thinking 'cars' and started thinking 'people', would it change the way we drive?
That’s the question at the heart of a new NZ Transport Agency road safety advertising campaign launching today, which aims to fundamentally change the way New Zealanders think about the road and the people they share the road with.
The Drive Social campaign is part of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy, applying the safe system approach to make the whole transport system more accommodating of human error.
NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said one element of creating a safer system is to encourage drivers to be more tolerant of other people on the road.
“If we accept the idea that the road is a social space and that the people we share the road with are part of our community, then we have to accept that the way we behave on the road has an impact on the whole community, and that the way we drive affects everyone else.
“Kiwis are generally a friendly, patient and accommodating bunch. But put us behind the wheel and it can be a different story. We behave differently in our cars. This campaign is asking people to look at driving from a different perspective – to think about driving as a social activity rather than as an individual pursuit,” Mr Dangerfield said.
All of the campaign’s advertising drives people through to the drivesocial.co.nz(external link) website, which invites them to find out who they’re sharing the road with during their morning commute. Some of them they will recognise, some they will know, and they may discover that they have something in common with those they don’t know. The aim is to give drivers a strong reason to think about others when they're on the road.
The website will allow people to join a community where they can discover something about the other people who drive on the same roads as them.
It taps into strong social media trends to find connections between people and shared interests like music and favourite radio stations. It will also encourage online sharing (through Facebook(external link)) and help generate comments and conversations.
“The more we can get everyone to think 'people' instead of thinking 'cars', the more likely we'll all be able to see how our own behaviour affects others,” Mr Dangerfield said.
The Drive Social campaign launches with television and other advertising today, including social media, radio, online, bus-backs and other outdoor advertising.
Further background information on the new campaign is available at:
Sign up for Drive Social at: