Shifting road sharing perception
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 New Zealand Transport Agency road safety advertising campaign launched last Thursday which aims to change the way Kiwis think about the road and the people they share it 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.
Agency 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 directs people to the drivesocial. co. nz website, which invites them to find out who they’re sharing the road with during their morning commute.
The website lets people 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.
‘‘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.
For more information on the new campaign go to: http:/ / www. nzta. govt. nz/ about/ advertising/ drive- social/ index.html.
Sign up for Drive Social at: http://www.drivesocial.co.nz/.