A new road safety advertisement has gone viral:

Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse has welcomed the unprecedented response to the latest road safety advertisement from the NZTA.

“Mistakes, is a powerful new ad that helps drivers understand that no matter how careful they are, other people will always make mistakes, and if we slow down fewer people will pay for mistakes with their lives,” Mr Woodhouse says.

Mr Woodhouse says the clip has had more than 2 million views on Youtube since it was first launched just four days ago, and the message is resonating both in New Zealand and around the world.

“It’s a terrific sign of success that this message has gone viral and got people talking about road safety around the world. We have had requests to use the advert from as far afield as Brazil and Poland, and had questions and positive feedback from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Sweden.

“Educational campaigns that invoke a strong emotional response can be far more effective in changing behaviour than simply telling people to obey the rules.

“It really brings home the point that the faster you go, the less time you have to react if someone makes a mistake on the road – even if you feel in control.” . . .

Most advertisements focus on people’s own driving, this one makes you think about other people’s mistakes.

“Mistakes was developed as part of the Government’s effort to change the conversation around speed, which is a key plank of the Safer Journeys strategy.

“While the road toll has been reducing in recent years, there is no silver bullet when it comes to improving road safety, and success will ultimately be measured by a society increasingly free of death and injury on our roads.”

Mr Woodhouse acknowledges the collaborative efforts of the NZTA, Police and Clemenger BBDO in creating the advertisement. The previous record for a NZ video passing two million views was Blazed, which took nearly two weeks, and prior to that was Ghost Chips, which took over a month to hit the mark.

15 Responses to Mistakes

  1. Andrei says:

    I’ve got an idea, why don’t we reduce the speed limit to 5 mph and have a man walk in front of each car with a red flag to warn everyone it is coming,

    We probably could achieve a road toll close to zero under that regime.

    The reason road accidents happen is multi-factorial but petty politicians seem to zero in on “speed” and alcohol, probably because they provide good sound bites and the opportunity for increased revenue generation


  2. fredinthegrass says:

    Do you think it possible, Andrei, you might have missed the point?


  3. Deborah says:

    That has shaken me. Twice. I drive at or just under the speed limit anyway – much more relaxing – but even so, it’s a hell of a warning.


  4. Andrei says:

    No – this ad is nothing more than super slick propaganda

    like all propaganda there is a kernel of truth behind it but for the most part it exists just to justify the latest government revenue grab.

    Apart from anything else both drivers are middle aged, middle class males who are one of the groups least likely to have a serious accident (and probably the group who drive the most kms) – the worst group are young males from lower socio economic groups, as is well known and documented and this advertisement propaganda wont reach them, water off a duck’s back.

    Maori’s are twice as likely to die in an accident than non Maori, did you know that?

    A significant proportion of serious and fatal accidents happen on country roads at night, its much harder to target those than motorways a 3pm on sunny Sunday afternoons which is where you will see the cops even though motorways on sunny Sundays during the day a usually very safe places to be.

    This ad is about convincing otherwise law abiding citizens who will be fined for letting their speed creep up above the magic 104 kph through not being focused enough on their speedometer (probably because they are focussed on the road ahead as they should be) on steep downhill stretches of perfectly safe highway that they have committed a heinous and dangerous offense and should cheerfully cough up – which they will.


  5. Judge Holden says:

    Poorly informed, paranoid and more than a little crazy, Andrei. Get back to Russia. Mighty Putin will let you go fast on horsey without shirt on.


  6. Armchair Critic says:

    Since most accidents happen within 20km of home, we could also require everyone to park at least 20km from their homes. We could also legislate to force everyone to have a sense of humour.


  7. Andrei says:

    Are you capable of rational debate?

    Probably not 😦


  8. Judge Holden says:

    Right back at you. Argument by asserting falsehoods and irrelevancies and demolishing strawmen isn’t rational btw. The last somewhat lengthy sentence of your diatribe is a peach of paranoid delusion. How about those chemtrails?


  9. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Andrei, while a lot of what you say here is perfectly true, I’d like to point out that the video goes to some trouble to show that the intersection has poor sight-lines.

    And while I am quick to swear under my breath at those who hold me up unnecessarily on the road, I am also often horrified when these same drivers don’t slow for situations where I can see they don’t have a clue what is just around a blind bend or over a crest…

    I think it’s a very good ad. It’s about time they came up with something credible, with a genuine message.


  10. Andrei says:

    In a democracy the Government rules with the consent of the people who willing obey the laws for they see the merit in doing so.

    In a tyranny laws are imposed upon the people and enforced by apparatchiks in the employ of their master, who serve their master and not the people.

    When I was a lot younger than I am now the police and the traffic officers who enforced the rules of the road before them would often pull a speeding driver over and rather than prosecuting would issue a warning, verbal or written, the message would usually be cheerfully received because we are for the most part a reasonable people and choose to cooperate to make the world a better safer place.

    However in an age where the rate of death on our roads is at levels unseen for sixty years despite a more than doubling of the population and an even bigger increase in vehicles on the road and kilometers driven, where an individual is about twice as likely to die by their own hand than be killed on the roads the enforcement of speed limits has become an obsession and, one where no flexibility or common sense is deployed by the authorities who spend their time detecting otherwise law abiding citizens in technical offenses in order to generate revenue for their masters – and this engenders hostility in me and a lot of others besides. This is life in a tyranny, a petty tyranny perhaps but a tyranny never the less.

    Perhaps my reaction to this advertisement might be different if I didn’t see the police with radar guns on a perfectly safe stretches of road trapping people for exceeding arbitrarily slow speed limits by trivial amounts but as it is……..


  11. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Most people don’t have any appreciation of the terrible, instant violence of an open-road collision. I like the depiction at the end of this video. It looks real.

    But to me the overall message I take is not about speed as such, it’s more the need to be aware of possible unseen hazards, and of course always to treat every driver (including sometimes even yourself) as an idiot. Appropriate speed follows from that.


  12. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Well said.


  13. Mr E says:

    You criticise tickets suggesting you would prefer education and criticise education.
    Which would you prefer? The ad is an attempt to educate the masses.
    A ticket challenges the individual. Or would you rather, our costly police force drove around with the role of warning people?


  14. Andrei says:

    Я на вишенке сижу (Ya na vishenke sizhu)
    Не могу накушаться (Ne mogu nakushat’sya)
    Дядя Сталин говорит (Dyadya Stalin govorit)
    Надо маму слушаться (Nado mamu slushat’sya)

    I am sitting in a cherry tree
    I cannot eat enough
    Uncle Stalin says to me
    I must listen to mummy

    I would like to see the people of New Zealand treated as responsible adults and not even thought of in such terms as “the masses” – patronizing Mr E, very patronizing tsk tsk


  15. Andrei says:

    You criticise tickets suggesting you would prefer education and criticise education.

    I was flippant above but let’s explore this further, more deeply.

    Life is not risk free and people will die accidental deaths, they will drown for example , I believe we are up to five drownings already this year – so what are we going to do? Ban people from swimming, boating and other forms of recreation involving water?

    The chances are you are neither going to die in an automobile accident nor drown, you are going to die though but before you do you will want to go about your daily business as freely and unmolested as possible – no?

    When it comes to speed and speed limits on the road, it is likely that if we dropped the current (too slow IMHO) 100kph open road limit to 80 KPH there would be a slight reduction in the road toll – likely but this is far from certain and at a large cost in inconvenience to the vast majority of road users who have been driving at the current limits and above for years without incident and would continue to do so if left to their own devices.

    Likewise if we made all the highways 2 lane or more divided carriageways then we would see a massive decline in road deaths but we cannot afford to do this, well not in the short term anyway so we have to live with imperfect roads with imperfect people driving on them and we happily take our chances every day and just get on with enjoying life as we can

    All things being equal the cars we drive and the roads we drive them on are going to continue to improve and the chances of dying on the road are going to continue to decline.

    My interpretation of that advertisement is that it is not “education” but rather a tool to soften people up using slick film making and scare techniques into accepting the Governments latest revenue grab as justified in the name of safety


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