I write to express my concern at the endorsement of Shane Warne as a TAC ambassador for the "Get Home Safely" campaign. Mr Warne has demonstrated a very public hostility to vulnerable road users and has not, to my knowledge, ever recanted those views. Given that public position it seems entirely inappropriate that TAC would consider him as a suitable role model for "young male drivers".
A role model is someone who sets an example of desired behaviour; behaviour and attitudes to be emulated. Does TAC truly believe that the group of drivers most highly represented in poor driving decision making should be encouraged to follow Mr Warne's example - threatening and abusing vulnerable road users, blaming others for his "errors" instead of taking responsibility for his actions?
Unfortunately I think TAC and the cycling road user community is now in a no-win situation. If you withdraw support for Mr Warne, the "bogan" element will portray this as a victory for "lycra louts" taking over the roads. If you continue to endorse him, you lose credibility with a large and growing sector of the road using public. The only solution I can see is to ensure (demand?) that Mr Warne publicly express a much more appropriate message - acknowledge the need for patience, tolerance and respect between ALL road users; recognise that cyclists are legitimate road users with as much right as motorists to be on the road; encourage all road users to share their commonly owned roads with courtesy and consideration; acknowledge that might is NOT right on the roads; advocate greater willingness to use the brake pedal instead of the horn.
I believe the current credibility gap is salvageable. It requires some very clear messages from the right source, however.