Visiting Drivers Project

The purpose of this project is to improve road safety for, and of, visiting drivers, while maintaining New Zealand’s reputation as an attractive and safe tourist destination.  The project has an on-the-ground focus in Otago, Southland and the West Coast but many of the initiatives will benefit all visitors to New Zealand and other road users. Any successful local initiatives may be rolled out nationwide.

Many organisations are working together to ensure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable holiday experience. They include central and local government, the private sector and others in New Zealand and overseas. There is no single solution, or single organisation that can improve road safety for visitors and others on the road. It takes many people working together to improve road safety across all parts of the system – roads and roadsides, speed, vehicles and road use.

Through the project, a range of initiatives are in place - and more will be introduced - to reach visitors at each stage of their holiday - planning, booking, in-flight, arriving in NZ, and when actually on our roads.

Visiting drivers’ education campaign launched

'New Zealand roads are different' is the main message of a road safety campaign underway in Otago, Southland and the West Coast this summer (2016-17).

The campaign is being run by the Visiting Drivers Project which is led by the NZ Transport Agency and includes local and central government partners, and the rental vehicle and tourism industries.

Overseas drivers are being reminded that New Zealand’s roads are different from what they’re used to and they should allow more time on their journey and drive to the conditions. The messages will also reach domestic visitors to Otago, Southland and the West Coast.

The roads in several of our popular tourist areas can be challenging – they are often narrower than visitors are used to, cover hilly terrain and can vary from motorways to gravel roads.

Billboards, posters, digital advertising and social media are being used to communicate five key safety messages:

  • NZ roads can be narrow, winding and steep. Allow extra time.
  • Journeys may take longer than you think. Allow extra time.
  • Save overtaking for long, clear, straight roads.
  • Taking photos? Pull over somewhere safe.
  • Remember to keep left.

Visiting driver campaign 2016

 Visiting Drivers Project information

Visiting Drivers Project news releases 2015/16

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

August 2016

April 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

Visiting Drivers Project detailed information

If you have any relevant information on improving visitor safety generally, that you would like the national working group to know about, you can email