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Unwitting passengers have been taken for a ride in a new campaign against drug-affected driving.
In the advertisements, covert filming was carried out by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) over four days last year, involving more than 100 actors who thought they were being driven to a costume-fitting for a television commercial.
Their drivers were also actors who pretended to be on drugs while driving.
This is the first stage of a long-term behavioural change campaign aimed at reducing the harm caused by drugged drivers. At this point, the initial aim is simply to raise awareness of the issue of drug-driving, create conversations and encourage debate about the issue.
The ads should show the nervous and worried reactions of the unsuspecting passengers, with many offering to take over driving duties.
The drivers told their passengers they were on cannabis, prescription pills, ecstasy or P. “I just had some weed before I came round so I am in a good head space,” one driver told his passengers, as they exchanged (more or less) worried looks.

Approach is deliberately provocative but also non-judgmental. They are encouraging people to talk about a sensitive issue and consider how they feel about it, not telling them what they should think.

What frightens me is the fact that not everyone has responded as expected and didn´t stopped the ride (except in the case meds). As you see in videos, there are more comedy than a terrifying situations. People do not take danger of using drugs seriously. Some of them have talked even about their own drug experiences (as in Weed video) almost disappointed “over weak effect”.

Drug driving – ‘P’ (30 second version)

Drug driving – ‘P’ (60 second version – 2)

Drug driving – ‘Pills’ (30 second version)

Drug driving – ‘Pills’ (45 second version)

Drug driving – ‘Pills’ (60 second version – 2)

Drug driving – ‘Weed’ (30 second version)

Drug driving – ‘Weed’ (60 second version)

Drug driving – ‘Weed’ (45 second version)

Here you can watch driver on meds, where is the only case that the costumer responds responsibly and takes over the ride.


The ads were part of a long-term strategy to reduce harm caused by drug-affected drivers, NZTA chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said.
“Current attitudes about the risks of driving on drugs are similar to the views people once had about drink-driving – often complacent, based on unfounded myths or simply ignorant of the facts. Many people currently believe that they can drive safely on drugs, or that drugs actually make them drive better.”

Results of a study of the blood of drivers who died in a crash show that 48 per cent had used alcohol and/or drugs.

31 per cent had used cannabis with or without alcohol or other drugs.

14 per cent had used drugs other than alcohol or cannabis.

18 per cent used alcohol with drugs.

90 per cent of frequent methamphetamine users, 62 per cent of frequent ecstasy users and 90 per cent of frequent injecting drug users have driven under the influence of a drug other than alcohol in the past six months.

The ads all end with the tagline “Drug driving. Do you think it’s a problem?” and the aim is that this will spur the debate and encourage the conversation.

The ad campaign has been launched on Sunday and includes websites such as YouTube and Facebook.

NZ Transport Agency

Belonging to the first generation of true Europeans, with roots almost covering the continent, I spread my life between Germany and Serbia. Read more