An advertisement using children to emphasise the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs has debuted in New Zealand.
The commercial, titled ‘Blazed’, was created by award-winning film director Taika Waititi for the New Zealand Government’s Transport Agency and has since gone to air on Maori Television.
The ad features three young boys sitting in a car waiting for their fathers – who have been smoking cannabis inside the house – to drive them home.
The kids’ actions shift from comical to contemplative as they analyse the irresponsibility of their fathers’ behaviour.
The creators of the commercial say the goal of the campaign is to “encourage people to consider whether driving stoned is really safe”.
The Transport Agency quotes data from New Zealand’s Environmental Science and Research organisation that reveals about 25 per cent of all drivers and motorcyclists killed in road crashes in NZ are found to have cannabis in their system, making it the second-most common drug found in blood samples of deceased drivers.
A national poll showed that 56 per cent of New Zealanders believe drug driving is a problem, while 32 per cent believe it is safe to smoke cannabis before driving.
Research reveals people who drive after using cannabis have slower reaction times and have an impaired ability to react quickly in emergency situations.