The Government of Western Australia has demonstrated inability to keep pace with the times in its new speeding slows you down campaign released this week.
The campaign says drivers should not speed because of the unimaginable consequence of having to ride a bicycle.
Campaign material focusses on the exploits of Cam, a 20-something tradie who loses his licence because of speeding and is then forced to ride to work on his bike.
He is made to look like a juvenile and chastised for “using his childhood mode of transport”. It is intimated that his girlfriend will leave him because he rides a bike.
The campaign aims to stop male drivers aged between 17 and 39 from speeding, an age group that is found to continually re-offend.
Western Australian Acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron believes the campaign will be succesful in stopping serial-speeding young males.
“Those drivers will relate to Cam, the anti-hero of this campaign, who has acquired too many demerit points, lost his licence and has to resort to using his childhood bicycle for transport, ultimately slowing him down,” said Mr Cameron.
While an anti-speeding campaign on its own shouldn’t necessarily be condemned, using bikes as a big stick for drivers and painting riding as an inferior mode of transport is short-sighted and archaic.
Bike riding is becoming universally acknowledged as the transport of the future, while the end of the automotive era is predicted. Other governments know this, with some doing the opposite to WA and encouraging bike riding.
Newcastle City Council in New South Wales has a full website dedicated to getting people riding, onyourbike.com.au.
Comparing videos from the WA and Newcastle campaigns is like chalk and cheese.
While WA are hung up on the perception that riding a bike will slow you down, Newcastle show that bike riding can be a quicker commute, is more fun than going to the gym and keeps you away from gridlocked traffic.
Government of Western Australia
Speeding slows you down
Newcastle City Council
On your bike