An NZTA road safety ad about the dangers of speeding is going viral and getting a lot of positive attention overseas already racking up over 440,000 views on YouTube. The ad shows that while individuals might feel in control and even comfortable driving at speed that it doesn’t mean that someone else might make a mistake. I have seen a lot of comments from overseas and across multiple forums say that it really effective at getting its message across, much more so than they are used too. I suspect that part of reason for this is that it does a good job of personalising the tragedy. These days people are probably so desensitised to road safety ads that they’re easier to dismiss when it’s just an inanimate object involved but when people can connect with the driver it’s much more powerful. .

No one should pay for a mistake with their life. When we drive, we share the road with others, so the speed we choose to travel at needs to leave room for any potential error.

Good work NZTA

It still has a way to go to pass the Ghost Chips ad from a few years ago which racked up more than 2.5 million views.

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  1. I HEAR another truck murders a cyclist in Parnel the strand yesterday. ??

    Hey But trucks are exempt from killing ? does someone know?

    1. You cannot say the truck murdered the cyclist by any means. A cyclist was killed in a accident with a truck yes, but the truck driver was apparently not at fault let alone acted murderously.

      1. Exactly. People need to be careful of comments made either way and in my opinion the best use of any anger is to detail it in a letter to your Local Board, Councillor, MP etc calling for world class bike infrastructure to be built asap. If NYC can then so can Auckland. Got get them.

      1. True, but as the post says above, no-one deserves to pay for a mistake with their life. People make mistakes all day long in cars but don’t get killed on city streets. Our car-dominated streetscapes however are fatal for pedestrians and cyclists who make mistakes.

        1. One point yes!
          Others to follow:

          Sorry but I has to try relax today with my anger getting of the chart:
          Trucks~ I have seen get away with dangerous driving for a long time.
          Where are the ads for trucks
          Our entire transport policy is setup for trucks.

          Yes the politians , trucking lobby, the police and that driver all murdered this cyclist .

          I hold to that. And sm too angry to comment more.

        2. As long as humans drive or cycle, theirs chance of human error, speed isn’t always the cause which police seem to go on far to much about, I laugh going out pukekohe highway, Sign says “POLICE: High Crash Zone, Drive Safely”, 30 meters later sign saying “100 KPH”. I think more effort should be put in making drivers competent and less on speed advertisements. Also, with the cycling thing, I have seen so many cyclists drive through red lights I’m surprised this hadn’t happened sooner, yes, its very sad this happened but it needs to be pointed out.

    2. Rather than speculate about which party was at fault – why don’t we all just agree that Grafton Gully/Strand is a nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists?

  2. Another high-impact one is from the UK – the initial bit focuses on texting and driving, but it highlights the horrific consequences for both the texter/speeder/drunk driver and others who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time too.

    Warning: it’s graphic. Video is on YouTube here.

  3. It looked like he hit him pretty hard, I can’t imagine he would have stopped even if he was doing the speed limit or a bit less.
    Maybe we should we all slow down to walking speed so people can pull out without looking?

      1. I’m pretty sure the point is if we drive slower we can allow for someone making a mistake. But the fact that he was only doing about 105 kph and yet absolutely smashed him would imply that even if he was doing say 80 kph he would have still killed him. So what speed are we meant to do in case someone pulls out in front of us?

        1. If he was going slower he might not have hit him – the turning driver would have had longer to see him in the first place or more time to get out of the way. On top of both these factors the stopping distance is shorter so the chance of crash is reduced proportionally based purely on the odds of bad timing. So if you drive 25% slower as you suggest this accident is over 25% less likely to occur – depending on the weighting it could be 50%… 75%… perhaps worth arriving a couple of minutes later…?

        2. The simple answer is physics makes a massive difference. 110kmh is 30.5 metres per second. 80kmh is 22.2 metres per second. He still would have hit him, but the amount of energy unleashed on the turning car would have been far far less at 80kmh than 110kmh.

          1. We did some simple exercises way back in 6th Form Physics, that involved calculating stopping distances for various speeds. At the end of the lesson, Mr Pepping pointed out the difference in stopping distance required between two speeds was “about seven metres. Doesn’t sound like much does it — but it’s a long way into someone else’s car.” That changed the way a bunch of us boys drove from that moment on.

  4. In 2005 my mother died in a car accident at the age of 84. My sister was driving her to a doctors appointment on the Southern Motorway heading to Drury, when a large chemical tanker pulled out of a side road and went straight into the passenger side of the car. My mother was killed instantly, my sister luckily survived without serious injury. The driver of the tanker was an experienced driver who had been in the industry for years without any serious accident. He was unhurt (and helped my sister get out of the car) but the psychological effect on him was severe. He stopped driving and could not bring himself to continue working in the company that he had built up over many years. He testified in court that he had slowed down at the give way sign, looked both ways but simply didn’t see my sister’s car approaching. He was not affected by any drugs or alcohol. The court agreed that he had made a mistake and imposed a fine plus restitution.

    So people do make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes kill. That is the message put forward so effectively by the NZTA advertisement. Just like the cyclist yesterday who probably didn’t deliberately run a red light. The truck driver will probably suffer with the trauma along with the cyclist’s family and friends, just like the truck driver whose mistake resulted in the death of a beloved mother and grandmother. To say that the truck driver or anyone else is guilty of murder is incorrect and will neither bring back the dead or help reduce the incidence of fatal accidents.

    We need to look at reducing road traffic in built-up areas, the lack of safe cycling and walking facilities, the dependence on road freight over rail, and all the other measures that people are suggesting – not just because of peak oil and climate change (important as these things are), but because we should not be prepared to accept that the carnage caused by traffic accidents is just part of the price we pay for living in the 21st century. There will be accidents as long as there are vehicles on the roads, but reduce the amount of road freight, enforce speed limits, make cycling and walking safe and increase public transport and you will reduce the number of accidents resulting in serious injury or death and the associated trauma and suffering. Is that too much to hope for?

    1. You hit the nail on the head. Road transport is simply too dependent on error-prone humans getting it right all the time, to avoid crashes. We should accept that it is not a “safe” mode of transport and never will be in anything like its present form. Therefore it behoves all civilised societies to scale back road transport as far as possible and shift the transport burden as far as possible to rail. And to seriously limit the infliction of dangerous traffic conditions on pedestrians and cyclists.
      Unfortunately our politicians, leaders, and a fair slice of the community, do not want to do this. So road accidents remain the biggest single killer and maimer of people in the prime of life. Not to mention all the other social, environmental and economic costs of excessive car- and truck-depedency.
      There has to be a better way, but the will to pursue it is simply not there. And the present government is heading 180° the wrong way and INCREASING car and truck dependency.
      One day we will wake up to our collective stupidity in all of this.

  5. Does anyone remember the old Australian ad where a guy (“Tony”, I think) drives drunk? When he gets home he tells his wife and then throws a fruit bowl at the curtains. I found that ad very powerful, but I haven’t seen it for years and couldn’t find it online last time I searched.

    1. Not sure whether we should suddenly start a massive campaign to change rural side road accesses to roundabouts or signals though! A) We have no money (thanks, RONS) and B), there do appear to be better ways (like speed enforcement / education, and targeted improvements).

    1. What’s the point of a stop sign if the lines are pulled back from the intersection? You still need to stop somewhere you can actually see the oncoming traffic.

      One problem is that a lot of these corners are on blind bends. Although in principle you’re not supposed to outdrive your stopping distance, in practice there are load of corners that you should be taking at about 60-70 to let you stop within your sightline, but that are signposted at 100 (like the rest of the road), and so people do 100. For each one, you need to either fix the visibility (often expensive), or slow down both the traffic on the main road and the traffic on the minor road.

      1. Um, so the vehicle comes to a stop. Then proceeds with caution and ultimately has to stop again to see oncoming traffic.

        1. Sorry, I should have worded that the other way around – what’s the point of pulling back the lines if there’s a stop sign? You’re still only legally required to stop ONCE, and it doesn’t have to be at the line, it can be in front or behind it as long as you have a clear view of traffic. Even if the law were changed, and you had to stop twice, what would be the point? You’d stop, then regardless of whether there was anything coming, you’d continue to the next point where you can actually see oncoming traffic. What’s the benefit that comes from that first stop?

          I did re-read the guest post you tweeted at me. I think it’s a good idea in the city (although why overcomplicate it with a new red stripe? We’ve already got a perfectly good road marking in the form of a zebra crossing).

          This is only because of the benefits to pedestrians, though. It won’t lower the odds of a vehicle-vehicle collision (including bikes). So it doesn’t really apply to rural open road intersections, where pedestrians will be crossing once in a blue moon.

      2. Yes, yes and yes! NZTA often seems too liberal in its readiness to permit “open-road” speed driving.
        Here’s how inadequate road-user sightlines at unprotected level crossings are handled on the railway: On approach to such level crossings, train drivers are instructed to slow down to a pre-determined speed appropriate for the restricted visibility of road-users. Once the front of the train has passed the crossing the train may then re-accelerate.
        Many uncontrolled road/road intersections require exactly this same sort of treatment. 100Km/hr should be for motorways or highways free-of-side-turnings only. (I hear the howl from the motoring lobby already!)

  6. I will never understand the high number of road accidents in NZ relative to the slow speed limits. 100 kph is painfully slow for a motorway (which is effectively a straight line). It must be something in our DNA that makes Kiwi’s shit drivers 🙁
    Observance of simple rules would save lives: Do not run red lights – Amber means stop unless it is dangerous not too. Do not drive after drinking booze – The limit should be much lower. Do not drive when you are tired – worse effects than being drunk. Do not overtake when you can not see the road in front of you – isnt that just obvious? Allow enough space between you and the car in front for an emergency stop. Get rid of the stupid law that allows to undertake cars on NZ motorways. Stop signs mean STOP – it also means look left and right but does that need to be said. and finally – show some spacial awareness – be prepared to leave a gap for cyclists who may come past your door in a queue, watch out for people walking out between parked cars. expect the unexpected.
    It is not rocket science and the cause is not speed (the results may be).

    1. This is not just a New Zealand problem. Throughout the world there is an inherent mismatch between the skill-levels required to operate motor vehicles safely, and the ability of the average driver to achieve these. Human nature is such that there will always be errors of judgement, moments of inattentiveness, impatience, stupidity and recklessness. Some drivers are better than others – perhaps 10% are extremely safe, 10% are hopelessly dangerous and 80% occupy the middle-ground. However no-one is immune from lapses which, combined with high-speed motor vehicles, can easily turn to disaster. The inevitable tendency for humans to err does not sit well with a mode of transport which places heavy reliance on error-free driving.

      Some countries do better than New Zealand, many are far worse. But in no country that I am aware of has the scourge of road-accidents been acceptably brought under control.

    2. I have agree with you on this (it hurts). Can I add education on the mix. Getting a licence in Nz is a joke. Fines are ridiculous. Police only target speeding and boy racers. It is not legal in Nz to drive in the middle of the motorway if the left lane is empty. But police don’t care about that as long as you don’t speed. I think most of the drivers don’t know about that. Did I say that getting a licence is a joke?

  7. Before you all get carried away you should remember that the car started life as an environmental saviour of cities. Back before the car there were more deaths per head of population in cities with horse drawn carriages than there are today. New York as an example the fatality rate was 75% higher then than it is today. Hate the car all you like but it has saved lives and solved a whole host of other environmental issues

    1. Yep but before that bicycles were hailed as the saving grace of cities – they were clean and quiet. They were also great liberators for women. Motorists and cyclists (who were by far the majority) campaigned together for better roads.

      However there was a lot of opposition at first to cars as they were seen as too dangerous, a judgment history has shown as being accurate.

  8. To me in the ad there was enough time for both to either stop or make the turn when they first show a shot of them together. First off I would have taken a shorter turning arc and would have checked my left before checking my right before accelerating. Both guys did not make decisive decisions, the guy going straight did not punch the brakes fast enough. I have been in one close call before with worn brake pads going down a steep slope with an old stick shift car (looking for a non-existent left turn) so know the feeling of accepting ones fate to relief in skidding within a metre of the driver’s door.

  9. Video has clocked 3.6 million views in what 5 days.

    Top effort from the NZTA, the ad is not perfect, the fact its 100-105 or 108 call it what you want the guy still would have got hit at a big speed, finally instead of purely speed and alcohol/drugs they acknowledge that mistakes are probably 60% (don’t know the exact %) of crashes. I wouldn’t call myself a great driver just average, a lot of NZ’ers do when they aren’t.

  10. More PC crap.The bro fails to check properly when leaving a stop sign onto an open road highway.There is no excuse but the liberals have got the yupie whitey apologising to the bro for his own mistake stupidity. LTSA you’re a disgrace

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