I'd like to draw your attention to a news piece in The Age today that examines the TAC's most recent motorcycle campaign, and the stark contrast between the message of that campaign and the reality of motorcycle accident causation in Victoria: http://media.theage.com.au/news/national-news/motorbike-crash-myth-exposed-3569533.html
Given that it is not only motorcycling advocates and lobby groups who are highlighting the discrepancy between the TAC's on-record claims and other findings but reputable, mainstream and impartial commentators and publications such as The Age, I am urging you to respond to the Victorian Motorcycle Council's call for a parliamentary inquiry into the role and function of the TAC. Though unwavering support of those individuals and organisations that work for you is commendable, unquestioning support is not, particularly when that support is propping up a negligent motorcycle campaign agenda that targets and vilifies motorcyclists and has a detrimental impact upon motorcycle safety in the state.
Minister, it is less than one week since the last motorcyclist was killed on our roads. Please, let his death be the one that prompts you to launch an independent review into the role and efficacy of the TAC in the area of motorcycle safety campaigns. What ever you do, don't wait for the next motorcyclist to die before you realise that it is long past time to take action on this.
I am aware that being Minister for the TAC is only a small portion of your portfolio, but is there any other area you are responsible for where you can directly contribute towards saving lives? The TAC quantifies motorcycle injuries as costing $100 million every year, and that is only the financial cost. With so much evidence that the TAC's approach to motorcycle safety is ineffectual, if not outright deceitful in light of The Age's story and the expose from Motorcycling Review, isn't it your responsibility to get off the bench and do something?
In order to make this as easy as possible for you to get the ball rolling, I have prepared a few questions that you might like to seek an answer to from the TAC, to help you decide whether indeed there is reasonable grounds for closer scrutiny.
- What are the qualifications of the Senior Manager for Road Safety?
- What are the qualifications of the road safety experts who report to him?
- How many members of the road safety area have specialist knowledge or qualifications in motorcycle safety?
- Why has the TAC ignored the key outcome of the 2008 Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Summit that all motorcycle safety campaigns should target drivers as well as riders?
- How can the TAC claim to be evidence based in its approach when it ignores and contradicts the findings of leading international studies into motorcycle accidents such as the Hurt and MAIDS reports?
- What has the TAC done to address the significant gaps in their data as identified by the Victorian Auditor-General's Office report of 2011?