Elephant vs Mouse

July 2013

A new campaign is rolling out across the Waikato this week to create awareness of the ‘elephants’ on the road and reduce the number of near-misses and crashes involving ‘mice’. Trucks are on average four times larger than a car, which is the reason behind the ‘elephant vs mouse’ campaign name.

Heavy motor vehicles feature in 20 per cent of the region’s crashes, and in less than half of these the truck is at fault. Tragically, given the truck’s size and weight these crashes often result in serious injury or death, and in many instances it’s the other motorist.

The campaign is based on the top four messages received through more than 3000 responses from drivers who were surveyed at a truck expo at Mystery Creek in March. Truck drivers were asked what they would most like to talk about if they were given the opportunity to have a safety conversation with other motorists.

The top four messages are;

  • Indicate to communicate
  • Need to pass me? Are you sure it’s safe?
  • If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you
  • I’m heavy, it takes time for me to stop
  • The campaign is especially important in the Waikato, a key freight route in the North Island with more heavy commercial vehicle movements per day than any other region in New Zealand.

As a mouse or an elephant driving on Waikato roads consider each other and drive carefully around one another.