Wednesday, 9 May 2012



Road safety: Transport Accident Commission campaign
Questions without Notice
3 May 2012

3 May 2012 COUNCIL
 Road safety: Transport Accident Commission campaign
Mr O'BRIEN (Western Victoria) -- My question is to the Assistant Treasurer, Mr Rich-Phillips, and I ask: can the minister inform the house on the latest Transport Accident Commission road safety campaign?
Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Assistant Treasurer) -- I thank Mr O'Brien for his question and for his interest road safety in Victoria. The Victorian government is very committed to working with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) on its road safety initiatives. We see road safety as one of the key issues for the Victorian government, and it is an area we are keen to make a difference in continuing to drive down Victoria's road toll.
I am particularly pleased that Mr O'Brien has asked this question, because the focus of the latest TAC road safety campaign is on motorcyclists and the issue of the vulnerability of motorcyclists on our roads today. Motorcycle riders in Victoria account for only around 4 per cent of total road users in terms of registration of  motorcycles versus other vehicles, and in terms of the actual use of roads, less than 1 per cent of kilometres on our roads are undertaken by motorcyclists; yet they are vastly overrepresented in accident statistics, particularly significant trauma statistics, and around 20 per cent of total trauma costs which are paid for by the TAC scheme relate to motorcyclists.
Although they are a very small percentage of road users, the types of injuries they suffer when they are involved in road accidents are very significant, so there is a renewed focus from the Transport Accident Commission on addressing concerns around road safety for motorcyclists. Of course the trauma associated with motorcycle accidents is not only felt in the sense of the impact on the TAC scheme; the bigger impact is on the family and friends of those people who are injured and on the people themselves, many of whom suffer injuries which are life changing.
This is an area where the Victorian government is very keen to partner with TAC to address some of the concerns around motorcycle safety. Last week I was delighted to launch the latest TAC campaign in the Reconstruction series. This is a campaign which builds on the work of the previous Reconstruction campaigns. They are designed to show actual accidents and work through the physics of those accidents. It is not based on hyperbole; this campaign actually works through the physics of a motorcycle accident. Detective senior sergeant Peter Bellion, who is from the major collision investigation unit and has participated in these campaigns before, reconstructs a motorcycle accident which involves a motorcyclist who is speeding at 68 kilometres an hour in a 60-kilometres-an-hour-zone and who has a collision with a motor vehicle that fails to give way. It shows a fatality that results as a consequence of that collision and how that fatality could have been avoided had the motorcyclist been travelling at the legal speed limit.
This campaign is a very confronting campaign. It is also a controversial campaign, and the government and TAC make no apologies for 

that. One of the things that is controversial about this campaign is that it shows the party who was wrong in this collision was the 

person driving the car because they failed to give way, but the reality of this scenario is that the person who suffered the 

consequences was the motorcyclist, who was involved in a fatal accident. TAC and the government make no apologies for running a 

controversial campaign which highlights the dangers for motorcyclists and reinforces the need for motorcyclists to be vigilant on the 

roads. They are particularly vulnerable on the roads, and they need to travel at a safe and legal speed. 

I'd like to have been in the  public gallery when this misinformation was put to the members of
Victoria's Upper House.

Rider Reps should  have  had  a real question about the TAC antibike campaign asked in Parliament before TAC got a chance to set this up.

This is a "Dorothy Dix" question/answer set.

When there  is  a bad reaction to something, in this case the TAC antibike campaign, the  department  involved can prime the  MP concerned with supposed answers  to  a  pre-planned question. Their aim is to divert attention from the real issues and reduce the credibility of any

I think it means TAC is in damage control.

It does not mean the camapaign to get TAC to do the right thing byn the motorcycle & scooter community is over.

There are very real questions to be asked.

1.  Is  the  research/data used to produce this TAC campaign quality or rubbish. In my opinion  TAC  shot  themselves  in  the  foot at the Parliamentary  inquiry  in March 2012 when they admitted that "a small team at VicRoads" "cleanses" police crash data and feeds the subjective
results to TAC. It's in the transcripts, on the PIMS website page. Public Document.

2.  How  much  did  the  TAC antibike campaign cost to a) research? b) produce?  c)  display  &  broadcast?  Could  those millions have been better spent on ambulances and emergency wards?

3.  Is  the  cost  of  this  TAC campaign likely to recoup road users' premiums in the value of reduced rider casualties?

4. Which stakeholders were consulted in producing this TAC campaign.

The Hon David O'Brien MP is a forty-something lawyer with an office in Geelong.  He  likes  football,  music  and  history  according  to his profile.  He  is  a  member  of  the  National  Party  and has been in Parliament just 18 months or so. An inexperienced parliamentarian. Perfect for a Dorothy Dix question.

Now is the time for stakeholders to go see their Member of Parliament. Get your MP to ask counter questions about the money spent on the ads and how  it  would  have  been  better  spent  on  ambulances and hospital emergency  wards. Get them to ask about the research. Look at the PIMS transcripts from March 2012.

Since  May 1 I've been in 4 MPs electoral offices pushing to get these questions asked. 

Go see your local MP. There is a Victorian election in about 18 months.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Tel: 03 9846 8621

1 comment:

  1. DC
    I understand that AMCN has re-constructed the scenario of the TAC ad and has shown it to be a fraud. I for one will be using this to make some noise about this BS anti-bike rubbish.
    I'm very glad you are there trying to keep the bastards honest. More power to you.