NZTA turns to parents in a bid to make restricted licence rules stick

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Clemenger BBDO are pulling on parents’ heart strings in a new campaign, hoping they will get tough with their teens and enforce the rules of a restricted licence.

The campaign, ‘When you’re not there’, features a young driver out at night with a car full of friends and while things don’t turn nasty, as does in so many of the NZTA campaigns, a near miss with a truck points out the danger of the situation.

Though the negative driving behaviour, of teens appears to be the focus, NZTA want the emphasis to be on parents, reminding them to enforce the restricted licence rules.

According to the NZTA: “Many parents believe their teenager is a fully competent driver once they have passed their restricted licence test. But this isn’t the case. A restricted licence is called this because it restricts the way in which the licence holder can drive; it has two conditions attached to it.”

A recent Otago University study found the two conditions, not driving between 10pm and 5am and not carrying passengers unless supervised, are frequently breached by young drivers with two-thirds admitting to driving during the curfew and 78 percent driving passengers while unsupervised.

With teens so lax about the rules it’s no surprise that approximately 14 percent of restricted licence holders are detected by police each year.

In order to bring restricted drivers back into line, NZTA hopes to make parents step up and ensure their teens stick to the rules.

“We want to make the restricted driving rules more meaningful to parents so that they reassess the risk, see real value in the licence conditions and realise that they are solely there to protect young drivers from situations where they could get into trouble.”

This is not the first time parents have been the target of a campaign about restricted drivers.

‘When you’re not there’ replaces the ongoing ‘Voice of reason’ campaign which began in 2013.

The focus of the ad series was to educate parents about teaching their teens how to drive. It featured parents dealing with a number of scenarios including their teen driving while angry, driving long distances, driving in the rain, and facing hazards on the road.

In each situation it’s the parent who provides ‘the voice of reason’.

All the campaigns about restricted drivers are supported by NZTA’s ‘safe teen driver website‘, a resource for both parents and their teens to use when progressing through the licences.

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