TAC needs to take a longer look at its advertisements

19 February 2013
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is under fire from rider groups and road safety activists at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, after re-running a controversial advertisement aimed at motorcyclists that was widely panned first back in 2009.

The ad, titled "The Ride", was widely condemned by riders and rider advocacy groups as misleading and alienating to riders, partly because it reinforces negative stereotypes of motorcyclists.

Principal at Maurice Blackburn and road safety advocate John Voyage said the motorcycling community was outraged that the TAC would choose to ignore the findings of last year's Parliamentary Motorcycle Safety Inquiry by running the maligned ad.

"The TAC is showing a reckless disregard for riders and road safety by running this misleading advertisement," Mr Voyage said.

"The decision to re-run a widely condemned ad flies in the face of the hard work and strong recommendations of the recent Parliamentary Motorcycle Safety Inquiry.

"It suggests that TAC is challenging the legitimacy of the state parliamentary road safety committee, whose report cites the Monash University Accident Research Centre's Professor Mark Stevenson as saying the '38 times more likely figure' is inaccurate.

"The result is that money is being wasted on a campaign which alienates the target audience - riders will just tune out because the focus of the ad isn't realistic or believable, it fails to deal with driver awareness and it reinforces negative stereotypes of motorcyclists.

"The Baillieu Government needs to act in responding to the report's recommendations and in turn, use that response to pull its road safety authority in to line."

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has been a leading voice on increased safety for motorcyclists and vulnerable road users, with its widely popular campaign called Stop SMIDSY. SMIDSY stands for 'Sorry Mate, I Didn't See You', which is something riders involved in accidents hear far too often.

Mr Voyage urged the TAC to take a longer look at an alternative advertisement put together by the firm's Stop SMIDSY campaign that was widely embraced by the motorcycling community as more accurate and more meaningful.