This hard-hitting telemovie was part of an early Ministry of Transport anti drink-driving campaign — a year after the death toll reached a record high of 843. Boozed up salesman Peter Costello (Richard Poore) crashes into Jim Kershaw (Gliding On's Ken Blackburn) and the outcome is tragic for Kershaw's family. Costello continues his binge drinking ways, but the consequences of his actions will soon haunt him. Wayne Tourell (Hanlon) wrote and directed 479 (the title refers to the fictional road toll mentioned in the programme). It has not aged well in terms of image quality, language and some of the characters' attitudes.
Our highest annual road toll was in 1973 when a staggering 843 people died — more than double the tally last year, when the population was far higher. The per capita road toll was more than four times higher in 1973 than in 2011.– Excerpt from an article about NZ's 2018 Easter road toll, NZ Herald, 3 April 2018