New Zealand Gives Us Something to Think About

01/07/2014 @ 2:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS


While trolling through the doldrums of social media, I stumbled across this advertisement from the New Zealand Transport Agency about speeding, and posted it to the A&R Facebook page. The message is typical, but the execution is masterful, and so I thought it prudent to post it here as well.

You would be hard-pressed to find a motorist who doesn’t travel a comfortable margin above the speed limit at times, and while we consider that offense a casual breaking of the law, this video reminds us that the consequences are potentially less casual. So the next time you’re doing a couple clicks over the posted MPH, give this ad a thought.

Source: NZTA

  • Conrice

    No. Speed doesn’t kill. It’s lack of awareness. When driving, you are always judging rate of speed at intersections. Think about it. You pull out of your spot in a parking lot and can navigate traffic in the parking lot, you turn into traffic in a 25mph zone – again, you’re judging the rate of speed differently than in the parking lot. When you turn onto the country road which is a 55 mph zone, you judge oncoming/ perpendicular traffic differently from slower zones. You don’t have to KNOW the speed limit in order to know when to go or not. It’s AWARENESS. It’s why sometimes you can notice you have enough time to enter because of a car going much slower. And you can tell the cars that are going much faster, too.

    It’s the responsibility of the guy entering the highway in order to judge when it’s safe to enter. The commercial plays on emotion, but ignores the facts.

  • paulus

    I am with you on the awareness… but unfortunately not everybody has it.

  • Andrey

    Conrice, Your comments naively assume that every situation provides sufficient visibility, time, viewing angle and all other necessary visual criteria required to accurately determine speed. There are countless conditions where drivers and riders make decisions based on an assumption of speed due to a limited number of visual cues available at the time. Close proximity to the crest of a hill with an approaching road that comes straight at you from the west, right at sunset, for example.

    Taking your point further you imply that someone doing substantially more than the speed limit is not the one at fault if an accident occurs; it’s someone else’s fault for not being “aware” of that speed and avoiding the intersecting trajectory. This is ass backwards thinking if I have ever seen it and typical of todays common desire to blame someone else and not take responsibility for their own actions. If I come screaming into a little country towns’ 30 mph limit over the crest of a hill on my StreetFighter at 100 +mph, and some guy pulls out in front of me I am the one that will be the cause of the accident. I’ll last 10 minutes if I think like you!

    Clearly the point of the video is to make people realize that if you do drive beyond someone else’s ability to assess your speed you will be the cause of an accident.

  • Jackoat

    I’m with the awareness. You are not being ‘aware’ if you drive/ride over a crest not knowing what’s the other side. It’s about appropriate speed for what you do 0r don’t know what lies ahead, not whether you are doing 100 in a 30.
    BTW, keep the 100+ for the open road, where you know what’s ahead, and can slow/stop if you have to. Respect the limits in urban areas – most of it is there for a good reason.
    If I am pulling out of a ‘blind’ junction I always make that manoeuvre as quick as I can – just in case someone is in a hurry coming my way. Better safe than…..
    Speed per se doesn’t kill – it’s usually started by dopey drivers/riders.

  • Kaw4Life

    Andrey – You naively assume that awaness does not include slowing down when conditions warrent. Sometimes the safe speed is 10 under, sometime the safe speed is 50 over. And if you think that 50 over is never safe then you have never driven thru Kansas.

  • Norm G.

    wow, that’s a really slick PSA. whatever the name of the awards are they give for that sort of thing, they’re getting one. balloting closed. contest over.

  • Daniel Croft

    I find it frustrating that so much energy is spent focussing on speed as the primary factor in safety. The primary factor is awareness which, as Kaw4Life said, includes being aware of your surroundings and adjusting your speed accordingly. The same piece of road can have very different safe speeds on different days and in built up areas, respect the speed limit.

    The sad reality in the USA and Australia (haven’t driven in NZ) is that people lack awareness and respect for others. We focus on speed and not training. We’d have fewer accidents if people would treat driving as more than an inconvenience than if we reduced speed limits.

    That said, if you’re the type of driver who has a million other things to do while driving (sometimes distractions are legitimate – kids for example) then good awareness and training would have you slow down. Many don’t.

  • Andrey

    Guys, your not paying attention!
    Conrice said:
    It’s the responsibility of the guy entering the highway in order to judge when it’s safe to enter.

    This was the point I was addressing.
    OF COURSE the speeding vehicle needs to have the situational awareness to keep their speed appropriate for the conditions, which is exactly what I said.

  • Ken

    Thank you very much for that wonderful ad. Whatever you want to call it awareness, control, perception whatever. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE

  • Joe


    It IS the responsibility of the vehicle entering to judge when it is appropriate to do so. Regardless of what the conditions are at the intersection, the person entering has to be aware of right of way.

  • Conrice

    Andrey, unless there is a stop sign at an intersection, it IS the responsibility of the person entering the road to determine when it’s safe to enter, regardless of what the other vehicle is doing. That’s how police and insurance look at it.

    Awareness is everything, sometimes that includes speed, sometimes it doesn’t. But in the video commercial – speed was not the factor that caused an accident, it’s the person pulling out and not correctly assessing rate of speed of the other vehicle which as the right of way.

  • It seems few of you have absorbed the commercial’s concept: “some people make mistakes” – you might be aware, but if you are traveling @ 1 kilometer above the speed limit – you are the murderer – even if the other guy makes a mistake – if you are not 100 % within the law – you are the killer.!!

    Watch the commercial again – where the father pleads for his life & the speeder says:
    “I’m sorry – I’m going too fast” – and then kills him!!

    Guys – “arrogance kills” !!

    Don’t be arrogant – please.

  • Kaw4Life

    I think if we were all in the same room we would for the most part all be on the same page. A lot can be lost in the written word.

  • paulus

    I Agree with Kaw4Life… we all agree that awareness and suitable actions are needed.
    After all, being ‘legally in the right’ is no consolation if you/others are dead.

  • Kaw4Life

    arkangel – You scare me.

  • Roost

    The focus of this ad is reducing speed. NZ has run hazard awareness adverts in the past . These ads have shown a grim looking guy with a spinning wheel, with all the outcomes of making the wrong decision at an intersection on it, and spinning it if the motorist takes off without identifying all hazards.

    Speed does kill. Australian studies have shown that in lower speed zones (50-60kmph) zones and increase of speed by 5kmph doubles the risk of involvent in a casualty crash.
    eg.a driver travelling at 65 km/h in a 60 km/h zone is twice as likely to have a serious injury or fatality crash as a driver travelling at the speed limit. Driving at 70 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, the driver is more than 4 times as likely to crash.

    Reducing speed allows more time to react, a lower impact speed and a shorter stopping distance (ie more room to avoid the impact).
    I think that both drivers are to blame in this ad. A 100kmph impact is still going to be almost as serious as a 110kmph impact. Reducing speed would just give the drivers a better chance.
    The driver that pulls out in the ad acknowledges that they are also at fault, they made a mistake, they did not assess the situation correctly.

    I agree awareness is also a key factor. It is great to see such healthy and positive debate.

  • Bill

    I was recently rear ended while driving the recommended speed on an Interstate freeway. A woman driving in excess of 85mph simply drove into me resulting in some massive damage. Fortunately, not fatal. Who watches their rear view mirror, expecting to evade an incoming missile. In any accident, regardless of circumstances or who is at fault, speed leads to increased severity of harm and injury. If you are speeding, you are absolutely responsibility for the consequences of increased risk and injury. No different than driving intoxicated or texting on your phone. It’s a conscious choice to endanger others and yourself.