Motorcycling is a high priority for road safety in New Zealand, because in a safe system where no one should be killed or seriously injured in a crash, around 550 motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured in crashes each year. They are 21 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash, therefore they are dying and being seriously injured at a much higher rate than the rest of us. In 2017, motorcyclists accounted for 12 percent of all deaths and 10 percent of all reported injuries on the road, yet they make up less than four percent of our vehicle fleet and less than two percent of all travel.
Unlike cars, which have safety features to protect their occupants such as crumple zones and air bags, motorcycles lack the protection and stability to protect their riders in the event of a crash. This lack of protection and stability is the key reason why motorcyclists account for a disproportionate number of those killed and injured on our roads.
While motorcycling is definitely a riskier form of transport than many, we don’t want to deter people from riding, but we do want to lower the number of riders that are being killed and seriously injured on our roads. We want to support motorcyclists by helping them reduce their risk and maximise the enjoyment they get from riding.
While the campaign targets all motorcycle riders, it has a particular focus on those up to 40 years of age. While not the biggest group on the road, they’re over-represented in road crashes – approximately 15 percent of riders are aged under 40, yet they accounted for 46% of all motorcyclist deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads in 2017.
Well-aware that riding is risky, motorcycle riders often proactively take their own precautions; investing in the best protective gear they can afford, being aware of factors on the roads they ride and continuously upskilling and practising to improve their riding ability. They ride because they enjoy it – it’s a way of life.
This is the first advertising campaign that we’ve developed which targets motorcycle riders, and it has been strongly guided by qualitative research. The research gave us a deep understanding of this new audience, and it’s clear that their philosophy of road use is very different to drivers:
Despite this pragmatic and proactive safety approach, riders could still reduce their risk further.
Motorcyclists often have favourite routes they like to ride but we don’t want them to become complacent. Even when familiar with a ride, we want riders to stay focused. As riders readily acknowledge, there’s always more to master in motorcycling and the smallest change could impact what was once a familiar ride. They see other road users as unpredictable and different bikes require different management. New environments will also inevitably bring new challenges for riders.
This new campaign aims to reinforce that riders are valid road users, but also highlight the fact they’re vulnerable. It tested strongly with the audience with very high relevance and likeability, and a clear message take-out of ‘respect the ride/road and the conditions’ and ‘every ride is a new ride’. Riders felt it reminded them not to be complacent about riding, and that they always had to ‘think’ about the ride and riding, i.e. always be on. Ultimately the campaign encourages riders to do just this – respect every ride.
Motorcycling is a new focus for the national road safety advertising programme. While ACC has a consistent focus in this area, their focus is predominantly on return riders (motorcyclists over 40 years) and the Rideforever(external link) training programme. Our campaign complements this and introduces the tagline Respect every ride.
The new campaign launched on 5 January with television, radio, billboards, print, online via YouTube and social media.
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