Safety expert backs calls to pull Falcon tv ad

Land Transport New Zealand’s new $2million anti-speeding advertisement is an expensive waste of money and should be scrapped, according to one of New Zealand’s leading road safety campaigners.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide, says that the new ad, which shows a middle-aged man flipping a Ford Falcon onto its roof, is both inaccurate and misleading.

“Statistically, fatal speeding accidents tend to involve young working-class males driving a Japanese import. Middle-aged men driving new Ford Falcons have comparatively few fatal accidents.”

“Either Land Transport New Zealand is trying to be politically correct, or they haven’t read their own statistics recently.”

“There’s pretty good evidence that these campaigns don’t work at all. As a matter of scientific fact, the part of the brain that can link cause with effect is simply not developed in teenagers. That’s why lectures by parents rarely work.”

“Do you really think that a young, working-class male in a fast car with his mates on Saturday night is going to be influenced by a tv ad showing someone’s dad in a Falcon?”

The giant American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently surveyed 20 years of road safety education campaigns and concluded:

“When good scientific evaluations are undertaken, most of the driver improvement programs based on education or persuasion alone are found not to work.” -

Matthew-Wilson added:

“Land Transport New Zealand started out with the assumption that road safety education works, and they simply ignore all evidence to the contrary.”

Matthew-Wilson added that the biggest tragedy of LTNZ's road safety education campaign was that it robbed money from strategies that were proven to work.

“The money that should have gone into fixing roads was given instead to a handful of advertising agencies.”