Riders welcome report on motorcycle safety, which asks TAC to avoid creating ‘negatives stereotypes’ of riders in its advertising

Stop SMIDSY campaign

The release today of a Victorian government report on motorcycle safety has been hailed as a win for Australia’s motorcyclists in their bitter battle with the Transport Accident Commission over the way riders are portrayed in road safety advertising.

Riders – fronted by the anti-TAC campaign Stop ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ – said that a part of the report that recommends for TAC ads to be more balanced in their depiction of the cause of road accidents marked a victory for the motorcycling community.

In the report, the government recommends:

That the Transport Accident Commission focus its motorcycle safety advertising redressing the attitude that responsibility for rider safety is solely attributable to the rider, by ensuring that campaigns dealing with motorcycles raise driver awareness and do not create negative stereotypes, perceptions or attitudes among drivers.

John Voyage of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the law firm behind the Stop SMIDSY campaign, told Mumbrella: It’s exactly what we’ve been talking about – road safety is everyone’s responsibility. The TAC has missed its opportunity to take the lead in regard to how it treats motorcyclists, and has disengaged the motorcycling community in the process.”

He added: “The report has targeted some key and important areas for improvement – it’s a good report. The challenge now is for action on the recommendations.”

In response to Mumbrella’s questions on whether the TAC would consider changing its approach to motorcycle safety advertising, the organisation said in a statement:

The Transport Accident Commission acknowledges the Parliamentary Committee for Road Safety’s efforts in producing this report today. The TAC has a history of working with the Committee and where possible implementing its recommendations.

We will now take the time to digest this report and its recommendations.

We will work with our road safety partners in VicRoads, the Department of Justice and Victoria Police to consider the recommendations and provide a response to the State Government.

In the meantime, the TAC will continue to educate the public about key road safety issues, invest in infrastructure improvements and ensure Victorians have access to safe vehicles.  

We will continue to base our efforts on the best evidence available to us in our mission to to reduce road trauma. Ultimately we are focused on reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads and we will not waver from this goal.

The Stop SMIDSY campaign was formed in November this year. The group takes particular offence to a TAC campaign that launched in April, which it says unfairly depicts riders at fault in road accidents.

The Stop SMIDSY campaign is fronted by an ad that argues that 84% of road accidents involving cars and bikes are the fault of the car driver.


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