Easter Road Toll in New Zealand

New Zealanders have learnt to associate Easter with crosses and roads, thanks to a road safety television commercial released in 2002 by the Land Transport Safety Authority and New Zealand Police. The television commercial features a man walking down a rural road, carrying a cross. There is no music and no voiceover, just the sounds of strong wind and footsteps. The super reveals the emerging plot: “A man walking down a road, carrying a cross. It must be Easter.” The man arrives at a corner on the road where there’s been an accident. There are skid marks on the road and a hole in the crash barrier. He proceeds to hammer in the white cross. As he pauses the camera zooms into his face – the face of grief. The super continues: “Please drive carefully.”

LTSA TV Ad It Must Be Easter

In New Zealand the families of road victims mark the accident site with a white wooden cross – a grim reminder to motorists of an ever present danger. Click on the image below to play the video.


The ad was created at Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, Wellington by creative director Gavin Bradley, writer John Plimmer, art director John Fisher and agency producer Martin Gray.

The ad was directed by Peter Cudlipp via Sydney Film Company, with producer Susie Douglas, director of photography James Cowley, and editor Charles Ivory.

Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) merged with Transfund in 2004 to form Land Transport New Zealand.

One Reply to “Easter Road Toll in New Zealand”

  1. Easter holidays can be a period where, like Christmas, there are an increasing number of children on the road. Parents do not always consider what their kids are going to do or where they are going to go when they are out playing at any point in the holidays. The main belief is that if a parent tells their child not to go some place or do some thing because it is dangerous, the more compelled the child is to do it. Children can be an annoyance, particularly when they are in a car, being taken some place by a responsible driver to spend the Easter Holidays. A driver has to be responsible for the safety of both themselves and their passenger(s), particularly if the passenger(s) is a/or are child(ren). A child can very easily distract a driver, even when properly restrained, increasing the likelihood of a fatal road crash. It is up to a responsible driver to find ways to keep a child occupied during a potentially long car journey – they can get bored and restless very easily.

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