During last year?s conference, rural Police staff from various jurisdictions including Western Australia and Queensland expressed their frustration relating to the ongoing problem of drink driving within rural areas.
There seemed to be an almost exclusive focus on the application of alcohol interlocks or other punitive measures. What wasn?t discussed to any large extent were the potential benefits that well targeted marketing and communications can deliver, especially if the marketing and communications are partnered up with enhanced targeted policing.
Drink driving currently contributes to about a third of all fatal crashes and 12% of all injury causing crashes in New Zealand. Most fatal or serious injury alcohol related crashes occur in rural areas (270 per year, compared to 170 per year in the cities). Most people who are killed or injured in rural drink-driving crashes are local rural people from the nearby areas and rural towns. Males account for 82% of rural drink drivers who crash.
Up until recently, drink driving campaigns in New Zealand have primarily placed a focus on the oft quoted catch phrase ?If you drink and drive you?re a bloody idiot? and have primarily utilised an above the line approach consisting of mainstream television and radio advertising. This has achieved a certain level of success but didn?t seem to be sufficiently hitting the worst offenders ? rural males.
In order to combat the rural drink driving problem within rural NZ communities, ACC teamed up with the New Zealand Police to undertake an innovative social marketing and enforcement campaign. The campaign was to take an unprecedented ambient approach which hadn?t yet been trialled by social marketers in NZ.