A major road safety campaign to help visitors understand and prepare for driving in New Zealand is now underway. Launching the new campaign, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss said: “Summer is on its way and so are many international visitors. New Zealand roads can be challenging, particularly in and around some of our most popular tourist spots.”
The NZ Transport Agency-led campaign is part of the multi-agency Visiting Drivers Project which has developed a package of short, medium and long-term initiatives targeting visiting drivers across all stages of the tourism supply chain – planning, booking, in-flight, arrival and journey.
As the only government agency mandated to market the country as an international visitor destination, Tourism New Zealand has a key role to play in keeping everyone safe on our roads by influencing the behaviour of visiting drivers.
Deborah Gray, Tourism New Zealand General Manager of Corporate Affairs says: “At least 50 per cent of travellers decide before they arrive in the country whether to hire or purchase a vehicle, or whether they will travel by other means. This provides us with a valuable opportunity to encourage all visitors to stop and think more carefully about the care that must be taken while driving here and to consider all their options for travelling in New Zealand.”
Tourism New Zealand will continue to run safety messages through all its channels including i-SITEs, advertising campaigns and other channels, as appropriate. It will also consider options to complement the Transport Agency’s social media programme. Since the Visiting Drivers Project began, Tourism New Zealand has implemented a number of initiatives to encourage safe driving by visitors from overseas. These include:
An online training module for overseas travel agents to educate them on safe driving messages. Available in seven languages – completed by 4282 agents.
- Road safety leaflets included with each New Zealand visitor visa issued in China.
- Videos presented by Chinese reality TV star Huang Lei and Chinese actor Shawn Dou, available via social media.
- Videos for Chinese, Indian, German and US drivers via Tourism New Zealand international channels including social media/websites.
- Refreshed website resources on newzealand.com
The new road safety campaign focuses on the Visiting Drivers Project areas of Otago, Southland and the West Coast, and uses billboards, posters, digital advertising and social media to spread road safety messages.
The messages emphasise that New Zealand’s roads are different from what overseas drivers are used to. The campaign encourages them to adjust their driving when necessary.
The messages are:
- NZ roads can be narrow, winding and steep. Allow extra time.
- Journeys may take longer than you think. Allow extra time.
- Save overtaking for long, clear, straight roads.
- Taking photos? Pull over somewhere safe.
- Remember to keep left.
The messages were tested in six target markets – Australia, Germany, China, United States of America, United Kingdom and India – with people planning to visit New Zealand.
Mr Foss says the Government and its project partners, including local councils, will continue to roll out initiatives to further reduce harm on our roads.