INDEPENDENT NEWS

Text Message To Combat Drink Driving

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2006 01:27 PM
Text Message To Combat Drink Driving
An innovative Land Transport New Zealand ad campaign has seen thousands of young drinkers send sober driving messages to their mates where they need them most – in the pub.
The campaign, which kicked off on Labour Weekend, uses posters and coasters to encourage young drinkers to text message a mate’s phone number to a short code, which in turn sends an offbeat pre-recorded sober driving voice message to the mate’s phone. The messages come from one of four unique characters, each designed to remind the young person of the dire consequences of drink-driving in an entertaining way.
Land Transport NZ Advertising Manager Paul Graham says the campaign is a new way of grabbing the attention of a hard to reach group and delivering potentially life-saving messages.
“Young men are a high-risk group for drinking and driving, but they also find it hard to discuss the issue with their mates. We know it’s especially hard for them to confront friends about drink-driving. Sending a humorous pre-recorded message gives them an effective, anonymous and fun way to get through to their friends if they think they’re in danger of drink driving.”
Since the campaign kicked off more than 7,000 voice messages have been sent. Both Telecom and Vodafone have supported the campaign, including providing a number of free voice message calls.
Last year 15 to 24-year-old drivers were involved in 142 fatal crashes and over 4,300 injury crashes. The total social cost of these crashes was about $1 billion. Nearly 40% of all fatal crashes involve a driver aged under 25, and nearly 80% of young drivers involved in fatal crashes are male. Alcohol is a contributing factor in more than 30% of fatal crashes involving young drivers, compared with 19% for those aged 25 and over.
Ends

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