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TAC loophole set to close

People who ride bikes in Victoria are set to have an extended right to TAC compensation under new legislation introduced to State Parliament.

The Bill, put forward by the Labor Government today, sets to correct an anomaly for bike riders who run into a parked vehicle.

Under the current legislation, bike riders are only entitled to receive TAC compensation if they hit the open or opening door of a vehicle or a stationary vehicle when they’re on the way to or from work.

If passed, today’s Bill will extend TAC coverage to bike riders who collide with stationary vehicles at any time.

Importantly, the changes are applied retrospectively to any crash which occurred on or after 9 July, 2014.

This is the same date that Drysdale Farmer Rory Wilson tragically became a paraplegic after colliding with a parked truck while riding his bike.

The changes will mean that Rory and people like him who were previously excluded from compensation can now claim TAC support.

“(The Bill) not only vindicates our position that the law seems to have been unjust, but now it will deliver the rights for all people from my crash onwards to be able to go to the TAC and ask for support,” Mr Rory Wilson told the Geelong Advertiser.

The government and TAC engaged Maurice Blackburn to be part of the working group responsible for drafting the Bill who told Bicycle Network that they were pleased with the meaningful and transparent consultation process. 

"The results of such consultation are reflected in the fact that this long standing campaign has resulted in a successful outcome with legislative reform," Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, Geraldine Collins said. 

"It is of great importance that the ever increasing numbers of cyclists will receive benefits offered to other road users."

Bicycle Network has been campaigning for years to see this unfair anomaly changed.

“For too long, too many bike riders and their families have fallen through the cracks of the TAC coverage,” Mr Richards said. 

“If passed, these changes remove an unfair and illogical loophole that prevented Rory Wilson along with other riders and their families from getting the support they need and deserve.”  

TAC CEO Joe Calafiore supports the change and is encouraging people who think they may now be eligible for support to come forward.

"The TAC is here to support people injured on Victorian roads to get their lives back on track after their accidents,” Mr Calafiore said.

“We encourage any cyclist who has had a collision with a stationary vehicle, to call the TAC to see if they are eligible to make a claim."

BIcycle Network would like to thank all members and friends who took action as part of the campaign and wrote to their local member, the Minister for Finance or TAC CEO. 

 

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