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Outrage that the new campaign effectively absolves the driver of any responsibility amid continued “blame the rider” rhetoric

A coalition of four riders’ groups is outraged about the new TAC advertisement, describing it as “prejudicial and deplorable”.

In a joint media release, the groups believe the advertisement effectively absolves the driver of any fault – despite the motorist failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to indicate and failing to exercise due care. In other words, shared responsibility for safety on roads has been totally overlooked, with drivers handed a “get free out of jail” card.

And the release also claims the advertisement fails to acknowledge that even if the rider was at legal speeds, a fatal conflict could still have been created.

“Continually reminding all road users of the need for vigilance is to be applauded, but for the TAC to deliberately distort facts, physics and data to produce such an ad and then have its own Spokes website effectively absolve the car driver of any blame is deplorable,” said Victorian Motorcycle Council chairman Peter Baulch. “Using Accident Reconstruction to get a message across requires credible re-enactment. When the credibility is missing, the message is lost completely.

“The ad is.. seen to be reinforcing an anti-motorcycling sentiment which represents a perplexing U-turn from the most recent TAC campaign featuring Watch out for Motorcyclists.” 

Australian Motorcycle Council Chairman Shaun Lennard said: “I thought progress was being made in Victoria. This ad is misleading, and would be grossly offensive to the family of anyone seriously injured in a ‘fail-to-give-way’ crash. These same images could be used to produce an ad aimed at other road users - ‘You fail to see a motorcyclist; you could go to jail’.

“I am also stunned and disappointed that this campaign was planned and developed with no input from Victoria’s Motorcycle Advisory Group. This flies in the face of key recommendations from the OECD’s Motorcycling Safety Workshop of 2008. Four years ago it was agreed that it was time to end the blame game… hello?”

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Published : Friday, 27 April 2012
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