THe New Zealand Transport Agency has launched a new video aimed at speeding drivers:
Enforcement has more to do with reducing harm than it does with issuing tickets and fines. This campaign reminds people that the role of Police is to protect those who use the road.
A big challenge in the area of speed is to stop speeding drivers from continuing to defend their perceived right to speed.
A significant proportion of the driving population still likes to travel at speeds that are too fast for the conditions (both on the open road and around town), posing a risk to themselves and to others who share the roads with them. Every week, 11 people are seriously injured or killed in a speed-related crash, but a substantial portion of our society still doesn’t see the connection between speed and crashes.
Speed is not often the only contributing factor in a crash, but it is a crucial factor in the severity of a crash. Whether involuntary or deliberate, road crashes occur from a range of mistakes but the outcome will be vastly different at different speeds.
The target audience
The new campaign targets competent male drivers aged between 35-60 years, who regularly drive a bit fast and are not keen on being asked to slow down.
They routinely drive at speeds above the limit and travel faster than the traffic around them. They’re confident in their driving ability and the fact that nothing untoward is likely to happen. They recognise that speed can affect the outcome of a crash but don’t see this as an issue they need to concern themselves with.
They want to see less harm on our roads – they’re happy that Police enforce our roads but they believe Police aren’t focusing on the right things; ‘speed isn’t the issue‘. They’re convinced that they themselves are very good drivers; they want Police to stop picking on them and focus on ’the bad drivers who cause crashes’.
Recent advertising has aimed to shift speeding drivers’ and the wider public’s attitudes about speed, taking the safe system approach with messages about human fragility and the inevitability of mistakes.
The campaign has a role too in reminding people that reducing violations is also a part of the safe system, and that enforcement may be needed to encourage compliance and ultimately reduce harm.
So, this new campaign aims to get the audience to accept the role of speed enforcement – to understand that the role of the Police is to protect those who use the road by dealing with anything that might cause harm.
It aims to get the audience to see that enforcement has more to do with reducing harm than it does with tickets and fines.
It’s simple physics – the faster the speed, the bigger the mess.
As the officer in the video says, “Everyone thinks they drive well, I’ve never seen anyone crash well.”