Murray wrote:Dear TAC
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.
TAC wrote:Dear Murray
Thank you for your email raising concerns in Shane Warne's involvement in the TAC’s Homesafely campaign.
The TAC has a partnership with the T20 Big Bash teams, the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades, to engage young men in a road safety message throughout the cricket season.
Young men are the most over-represented in Victoria’s road trauma statistics and the T20 competition and the teams’ strong Twitter following help the TAC messages get through.
Both the Stars and Renegades captains, Shane Warne and Aaron Finch, were involved in the Homesafely launch on 19th December as part of this partnership, as representatives of their team.
The players did not receive any payment for this appearance on behalf of their teams.
The teams have continued to support the campaign, by broadcasting a billboard message and sharing the word online about the campaign. In this way, we ensure the highest risk group of drivers on our roads, young men, are being exposed to a road safety message.
In regards to the driving behaviour of the team representatives, the TAC believes everyone should be a road safety ambassador and show respect for all road users.
We urge all road users to be aware of each other and show consideration on the roads.
More information about the TAC’s Homesafely campaign can be found at http://www.tac.vic.gov.au or homesafely.com.au.
Thank you again for your email, we are always pleased to received feedback from the Victorian community.
Road Safety & Marketing
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