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Let the driver drive – new campaign urges young passengers
to stop distracting their mates

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The latest NZ Transport Agency road safety advertising campaign is hammering home the message that you don’t have to be driving to cause a crash.

A series of new outdoor, on-line and cinema ads are launching this week, all aimed at urging young passengers to consider how what they do in the car can affect their mates’ ability to concentrate and drive safely. 

Ernst Zöllner, Director Road Safety at the NZ Transport Agency said distractions could be particularly dangerous for younger drivers, with evidence showing the fatal crash risk for young drivers is higher if they have passengers in the car. With two or more passengers, the risk is 10 times greater compared to driving alone. And the risk is at its greatest when the passengers are a similar age to the driver.
 
“Many young people see the car as a place to hang out with their mates. We want to help young passengers to do what they can to ensure they don’t distract the driver, whose focus has to be on the road.
 
“Even simple and seemingly harmless things like turning up the music volume or yelling at your mates can badly affect a young driver’s ability to concentrate and cause them to crash,” Mr Zollner said.
 
The new campaign aims to help passengers recognise that they are part of the problem when it comes to driver distraction. It targets young passengers (18-25 year olds) who are often oblivious to the risk they pose when they distract a driver - especially those who do not yet drive themselves. By taking responsibility for their actions when travelling, they could prevent a driver from being distracted.
 
The campaign includes large street posters, print ads in targeted magazines, and online/cinema animation advertising. You can view the new material at: www.nzta.govt.nz/about/advertising/distraction/index.html(external link).
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