Transport Accident Commission


Transport Accident Commission

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is the statutory insurer of third-party personal liability (CTP insurance in other states) for road accidents in the State of Victoria. It was established under the Transport Accident Act 1986. [http://www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au/]

Its purpose is to fund treatment and support services for people injured in transport accidents. The TAC's suppport covers medical and non-medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident, for example income support for people whose injuries prevent them from performing normal job duties, or return to work programs, and equipment or aids, such as wheelchairs or crutches that are recommended by a healthcare professional. Funding used by the TAC to perform these functions comes from compulsory payments made by Victorian motorists when they register their vehicles each year with VicRoads. [http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/jsp/content/NavigationController.do?areaID=25]

The TAC also has a duty to help reduce accidents on Victorian roads. It works with Victoria Police and VicRoads to promote Victorian road safety. [http://www.tacsafety.com.au/jsp/homepage/home.jsp]

In 2006, the Victorian Government announced that the TAC Headquarters would move to Geelong. [http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/newsroom/government-cements-its-commitment-to-geelong.html]

Public Education Campaigns

The TAC is known for its powerful road safety public education campaigns which emphasise the personal costs of dangerous driving practices (such as speeding and drink driving) using emotive, educational and enforcement based themes.

In 1989 the increasing cost of accidents caused VicRoads and the TAC to adopt a new approach including:

* a significant boost to enforcement resources targeting speeding campaigns to sign-post change and help set the public agenda
* a sustained and community-based road safety bodies, and
* an emphasis on evaluating their effectiveness

For its part, the TAC funds television and billboards coupled with high-impact advertising.

The TAC's most well known slogan, if you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot, has changed over time to "only a little bit over, you bloody idiot" to reflect the danger of low level drink-driving.

Other well known slogans include wipe off 5 , targeting careless or habitual low-level speeders.

Its recent safety campaign drew attention to two life-saving in-car technologies - Electronic Stability Control and side, head protecting, curtain airbags. The aim of this campaign was to encourage car buyers to ask for these important safety features when purchasing their next car (for more information see www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au). The Victorian Government has mandated this as a future design requirment.

TV Advertising Campaigns

There have been over 40 TV adverts produced by the TAC covering a range of areas concerning road safety, many of which can currently be viewed on YouTube below is an incomplete list:

Beach Road - late 1980s - 1:00 - "Don't fools yourself, speed kills."

Depicts a road accident scene in which the driver of a car was exceeding the speed limit by 20kph and has hit a young boy. The boy dies at the scene and his mother mourns his death while an ambulance officer explains, amongst other things, that "the faster you drive, the harder you hit."

Fireball - early 1990s - 1:30 - "Country people die on country roads."

Depicts a pair of couples in a car driving along a regional road, the driver is distracted and loses control of the car which rolls off the side of the road and comes to a stop in a ditch. Most of the occupants appear to survive the initial crash until leaking fuel is ignited and the car is engulfed in flames.

Tracy - early 1990s - 1:00 - "Don't fools yourself, speed kills."

Depicts a distraught young girl, the driver of a car involved in a road accident who mourns the death of a passenger in the vehicle she was driving.

Gravel - early 1990s??? - 1:30 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."

Depicts a young driver speeding on a gravel road who is impatient to arrive at their destination and is encouraged to speed by one of the occupants. He loses control of the car on the gravel surface and the speed carries them far from the road and wraps the car around a tree.

Country Kids - "Darren!" - early 1990's - 2:00 - "It's in your hands, concentrate or kill."

Depicts a car full of teenagers on a country road, the driver of which is speeding and is distracted by conversation within the car which subsequently drives through a stop sign and collides with another car. Later in hospital it is revealed that one of the Darren had died in the crash, the advert ends when the victim's parents in the waiting room embrace after hearing Darren's mother scream.

Bones - early 1990s - 1:00 - "Belt up, or suffer the pain."

Depicts a young woman not wearing a seat belt, distracting the driver of a car which subsequently runs into a parked car, the woman is thrown through the front window and is later shown recovering through physiotherapy.

Netball Girl - mid 1990s - 1:30 - "If you don't trust the driver, don't get in."

Depicts a young girl who is picked up by some friends after a netball game, she is reluctant to get in the car but eventually decides to do so and is soon involved in a crash. Later, she recovers in hospital after suffering severe brain damage and explains to the viewer the aspects of her life that have changed since the accident.

Drowning - mid 1990s - 1:30 - "Take a break, fatigue kills."

Depicts a man driving his family in a car long distance, through a regional area, without enough sleep. He eventually falls asleep and the car wanders off the road and into a lake. He escapes the sinking car but there is no one around to help him save his family.

Nightshift - mid 1990s - 1:30 - "Wake up to yourself, fatigue kills." and "Country people die on country roads."

Depicts the driver of a Kombi who decides to drive a long distance trip overnight without enough sleep and subsequently runs into a truck, killing himself and another occupant.

Young Cops - late 1990s - 1:30 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."

Depicts police officers catching drivers exceeding the speed limit on a stretch of road who hear many different excuses for why the drivers caught were speeding. Later, the police officers get a call to a fatality in a road accident in which speed was the major factor.

Christmas Accident - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."

Aired for a few years during the Christmas holidays, a montage of scenes from various TAC ads is shown while a young girl sings the John Lenon & Yoko Ono song "Merry Christmas".

Monday, Wednesday - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."

A man decorates a Christmas tree with his family on Monday. Then on Wednesday he drinks alcohol with friends before driving his car, subsequently crashes into a telephone pole and suffers severe brain injury.

Thursday, Sunday - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."

A continuation of the "Monday, Wednesday" advert. On Thursday the man's family await news of his condition as he is kept alive on life support. By Sunday it is revealed that his brain has stopped functioning and they must turn off the life support machines.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."

A continuation of the "Thursday, Sunday" advert. On Christmas Eve, his death has resulted in stresses within the family as they attend his funeral. On Christmas Day his wife opens presents with her children as they ask where their father is.

Bush Telegraph - late 1990s - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, your a bloody idiot."

Depicts a man drinking alcohol with friends before driving home with his son while joking about their friend's belief that they'll never be caught drink driving. The car ignores a stop sign, is hit in the side and destroyed by a large truck.

10 KPH Less - late 1990s - 1:00 - "10 kph less will save lives."

Very graphic content. Depicts a man being hit by a car at around 70kph. The footage is then shown in slow motion whilst a physician explains the effects on the human body in such a situation before adding that "Had you been braking from 60ks and not 70, there's a good chance you could have stopped in time."

The Pub - late 1990s - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, your a bloody idiot."

Very graphic content. Depicts a young man driving a short trip home after drinking alcohol with his friends at a pub, his reaction time is reduced and is distracted by something in his car and hits to elderly pedestrians walking their dog. Later it is revealed he has been sentenced to multiple years in prison for causing a fatality whilst drink driving.

Blame - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."

Depicts a man driving slightly over the speed limit who loses control of his car and collides with a telephone pole, killing his wife. The narrator explains; "For every 5ks over the limit, your risk of crashing doubles."

Pinball - late 1990s - 1:00 - "Belt up, or suffer the pain."

Depicts a car in a low speed collision with another car, a male occupant is not wearing his seat belt and is thrown around inside the car. A physician explains the effects on his body as the footage is replayed in slow motion.

The Hidden Toll - late 1990s - 2:00 - "It's 46 too many."

Depicts several road accident scenes in which people are injured and their subsequent recoveries. The text reads; "Every single day, 46 people are badly injured on our roads. This is the hidden road toll. They need help for weeks, for months, or for a lifetime. 46 people injured every day. It's 46 too many."

Never - early 2000s - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."

Depicts a young man who has consumed low levels of alcohol, colliding with a parked tray truck, the impact killing his girlfriend. Later, the woman's father mourns the death of his young daughter.

Shark - early 2000s - 1:00 - "The way we drive is killing Victorians."

Depicts a boy being attacked by a shark at a beach and screams for help while many people look on apathetically and continue to go about their business failing to help the boy. The narrator explains; "Every year hundreds of people are killed on Victoria's roads, and this is how we react, it's time we changed."

Mobile - early 2000s - 0:30 - "On the phone? Get off the road."

Depicts a young woman driving whilst text messaging when a young boy rides a scooter further down the road and is subsequently hit by the car.

No Accident & The Wife - early 2000s - 1:45 - "Wipe off 5."

Very graphic content. A series of two ads usually aired within the same commercial break. The first depicts a man driving a car 5km over the speed limit who collides with a young girl riding a bike who suffers severe brain damage. The second shows the events later as argues with his wife over the incident as he explains that if he'd been under the speed limit he may only have broken her leg.

Haunted - early 2000s - 2:00 - "You don't have to be drunk to be a drink driver." and "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot."

Follows a middle-aged man throughout his daily life who is haunted by images of a young boy before revealing the preceding events in which he killed a young boy with his car whilst driving with just a small blood alcohol content reading.

Snap - early 2000s - 0:30 - "Think twice before running a red"

Depicts drivers caught on red light cameras while driving through red lights. The narration explains that "if your lucky, you'll only be snapped twice; one snap if your speeding, another if you run the red." The scene of a fatal road accident in which the driver has suffered a broken neck, is then revealed in which the narrator explains; "If your not so lucky, you'll get a third snap".

15 Years Old - early 2000s - 0:30 - "Are you roadworthy?" and "HELP."

An advert explaining that 15 year olds should book to apply for their learner's permit so they can get as much practice as possible before applying for their Probationary license.

Scooter - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "What's between you and the operating theatre?"

Depicts a young woman in an operating room who has crashed while riding her motorised scooter. It is revealed that she was not wearing any protective clothing and as a result has lost a large amount of her skin.

Motorcycle - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "What's between you and the operating theatre?"

Depicts a young man in an operating room who has crashed while riding his motorbike. It is revealed that he was only wearing denim, not protective leather or kevlar and as a result has lost a large amount of his skin.

Vice Versa - mid 2000s - 1:00 - "Put yourself in their shoes."

Depicts the drivers of a car and a motorcycle changing places and explores the thought processes of a motorcycle driver in heavy traffic. The motorcyclist is not seen by the driver of a car who changes lanes, forcing him off his motorbike.

Lost - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "Don't push fatigue. Pull over."

Depicts a car being driven along a road from the perspective of a fatigued driver who subsequently wanders off the road without realising and collides with a tree. The narrator explains; "Your eyes don't have to shut for your mind to be asleep".

The Good Driver - mid 2000s - 1:00 - "There's no excuse for speeding."

Depicts a man and a separate version of himself who gives commentary on his driving habits in various situations making excuses for speeding until eventually he causes a serious road accident.

When? (Regional Version) - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot."

Depicts several occasions in which a man driving on regional roads narrowly avoids booze busses until eventually he is pulled over by one and is found to be slightly over the limit. the narrator explains that there is an increased number of booze busses operating.

When? (Metro Version) - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot."

Depicts several occasions in which a man driving on city roads narrowly avoids booze busses until eventually he is pulled over by one and is found to be slightly over the limit. the narrator explains that there is an increased number of booze busses operating.

Driving While Distracted #1 - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "Distracted drivers are dangerous."

Depicts various events in which drivers who are using mobile phones, changing CDs and talking to other occupants are involved in accidents or near accidents.

Driving While Distracted #2 - mid 2000s - 0:30 - "Distracted drivers are dangerous."

Depicts various events in which drivers who are using mobile phones, changing CDs and talking to other occupants are involved in accidents or near accidents.

Big Hit - late 2000s - 0:30 - "A 15 minute powernap could save your life."

Features an Australian cricketer who explains; "Cricket is a game of concentration, which is why we stop for a break once every two hours, reduces fatigue and sharpens your reflexes, it's the same out on the road, if you don't have a powernap when your tired, you take your eye off the ball and get caught out big time."

Double Bus - late 2000s - 0:30 - "If you drive on drugs, you're out of your mind."

Depicts a man driving home late at night who is pulled over by a booze bus, he passes the alcohol test and it is then explained to him by the police officer that he will now be tested for drugs, to which he appears surprised. The narrator explains that booze busses now also test for the presence of other drugs.

Curtain Airbags - late 2000s - 0:45 - "howsafeisyourcar.com.au"

A woman who has suffered brain injury talks about side curtain airbags and explains that before her crash she knew nothing about them whilst now she is an expert.

Pictures Of You - 2008 - 3:00 - "Slow down. Please."

Shows various scenes of family members of real-life victims of road accidents viewing photographs of their departed relatives while the musical track "Pictures of You" by Angie Hart, originally by The Cure plays over the top.

Want Some? - 2008 - "If you drive on drugs, your out of your mind"

Depicts a young man accepting an offer to take drugs at a nightclub. The events of that night and the early morning are revealed in pieces out of chronological order, including the same young man driving a car and hitting a pedestrian. Later, he spends the night in a jail cell whilst coming down from the effects of the drug.

Australian Football League Partnerships

The TAC has community partnerships to help ensure road safety messages reach audiences at a grass-roots level. One of these community partnerships was with the Collingwood Football Club.

Another key program is through support for the under 18 TAC Cup football competition to promote learner driver safety through this channel.

External links

* [http://www.tac.vic.gov.au Official Website]
* [http://www.tacsafety.com.au/jsp/homepage/home.jsp TAC Road Safety Website]
* [http://www.monash.edu.au/muarc/reports/muarc185.pdf Investigation of audience perceptions of TAC road safety advertising]


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