Auckland Transport tackles unexplained traffic back-ups

Anyone who has crawled along one of Auckland’s motorways in bumper-to-bumper traffic will know the confused—albeit elated—feeling that comes when the traffic just starts moving again.

As you accelerate out of the jam, a few questions are invariably left unanswered: What was the hold-up? Where was the accident? And why did the traffic just start moving again?

Well, Work Communications creative Marco Ermerins took it upon himself to find a few answers to these pressing questions.

And his findings have now been released in an animated clip running on Auckland Transport's social channels.    

As it turns out, the problem is often caused by drivers who don’t maintain a safe following distance from those in front of them and can easily be rectified if drivers just exercise a bit more courtesy on the roads.

If the comments section is anything to go by, the mystery behind traffic jams with no identifiable cause has plagued numerous drivers on the road—which, as a corollary, probably helps to explain why the issue occurs so often.

What this campaign does particularly well is explain to a group of people what they’re doing wrong in the hope that it will encourage a change of behaviour, as suggested by the catch phrase ‘Spread the jam’.

Whether the jam does spread is, however, yet to be seen. In all likelihood, we’ll probably have to wait for driverless cars to take over for this issue to be eliminated completely.

As a current alternative to sitting in traffic, Auckland Transport is also pushing bicycles hard, via the ‘I love my ride’ campaign, developed by Federation, and launched in December.

While communications relating to cycling often focus on safety warnings calling on car drivers to give cyclists sufficient space (and thereby making cycling seem like a terrifying activity), this campaign takes a more positive approach, focusing on what makes cycling a good experience for many Aucklanders.

This campaign is set to feature prominently across digital Adshels during the warmer months, in the hope of getting more people onto two wheels.

For now, Aucklanders can only hope the strategy works. 

This story first appeared at StopPress.