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.