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, Australia. It was established under the Transport Accident Act 1986.
Its purpose is to fund treatment and support services for people injured in transport accidents. The TAC's support 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.
The TAC also has a duty to help reduce accidents on Victorian roads. It is responsible for the majority of road safety advertising in the state.
The TAC Headquarters moved to Geelong in January 2009.
Public Education Campaigns
The TAC is known for its powerful road safety public education campaigns which emphasize the personal costs of dangerous driving practices (such as speeding and drunk 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 is If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot, which was introduced in 1989. This slogan has become a catchphrase in various parts of Australia as well as Victoria. In recent times, this has been replaced with Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot to reflect the danger of low-level drink-driving.
Arguably the TAC's second most well known slogan is Don't fool yourself, speed kills which was introduced circa 1994. Again, this has been modified in recent years to reflect low-level speeding, to Wipe off 5.
Other recognised TAC slogans from the 1990s include "Belt up, or suffer the pain", "Wake up to yourself, fatigue kills", "It's in your hands, concentrate or kill", and "Country people die on country roads".
Its recent safety campaign drew attention to life-saving in-car technologies, such as Electronic Stability Control and curtain airbags. The aim of this campaign was to encourage car buyers to ask for these important safety features when purchasing their next car (the TAC has set up a website to promote this, www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au). The Victorian Government has mandated this as a future design requirement.
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:
Girlfriend - 10 December 1989 - 1:01 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
The first TAC ad. Depicts a couple arriving in hospital after the man crashed while drink-driving. The man has his arm in a sling while the girl is taken to the emergency room to be operated on. Her parents are called and when arriving are informed that she may lose her leg. The man tries to see her, but is angrily chased away by the mother. While the man is crying, a nurse explains that the people who cause the accidents have to live with it and "that's the real tragedy."
Beach Road - early 1990s - 1:00 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."
Depicts a road accident scene in which the driver of a car was exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h 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 - 1991 - 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. The next morning, a couple of farmers discuss the crash with one them assuming it was 'city kids' who didn't know the road, only for his wife to come outside devastated as their grandson was the driver who was killed.
Depicts a young male driver on a country road with his young sister in the passenger seat. He is stuck behind a semi trailer and pulls out to overtake it on the crest of a hill. They meet another semi-trailer head on.
Mum in a hurry- 1995 - 1:01 "Don't fool yourself, speed kills." and "Country people die on country roads."
This advert depicts a mother in a rush to pick up her son at kindergarten and as a result speeds through a residential zone and hits a young boy who runs onto the road chasing his dog, killing him. The boy's mother rushes to the scene, crying, while the mother attempts to say sorry.
6 O'Clock News - 1992 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."
Depicts a young man leaving for a fishing trip and saying goodbye to his family, assuring them that he is fine to drive as it is a long time since he last received a speeding ticket. Later in the day, the family members are watching the evening news when they recognise his car in coverage of a road crash where the driver has been killed.
Tracy - 1993 - 1:00 - "Don't fool 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 - 1993 - 1:30 - "Don't fool yourself, speed kills."
Depicts a young driver speeding on a gravel road who is impatient to arrive at his destination and is encouraged to speed by one of the occupants. He reassures his sister in the front passenger seat that he knows the road, but loses control of the car on the gravel surface and the speed carries them far from the road and wraps the car around a pole.
Country Kids - "Darren!" - 1995 - 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 them, 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. An alternative version has a friend who was following them being interviewed and Darren's sister screaming for him.
Bones - 1994 - 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 difficult physiotherapy. This was the first advert to depict a long-term injury.
Joey - 1992 - 1:00 - "If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot."
Depicts a young man - Brett - and his brother Joey leaving a party. Joey pleads with him to let him drive, as he feels Brett has had too much to drink. Brett ignores his warning and orders him to get in the car. Later, Brett starts swerving the car to prove he can control it. Joey begs for him to pull over, but he swerves again and loses control, crashing the car. Later, Brett in alone in a hospital and screams out Joey's name, lamenting on how he killed his brother.
Teen car crash nightmare - (year unknown, possibly 1995) - 1:30 - "It's in your hands, concentrate or kill."
Depicts a couple of girls going to a party. While driving, they are constantly looking behind to see if two male friends are coming to the party with them. They hit a car side on. The males come out from their car to find the two girls uninjured. But when the other males rushes to the other car, he finds the woman dead and her baby crying. He tells his friends that she's died and the girls start crying, knowing they have killed the child's mother.
Glasses - 1993 - 1:01 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
Depicts a man driving a car. Several empty glasses of beer are placed in front of him indicating how much he has been drinking. He crashes into a parked car and dies. Later, the police inform his wife, who starts to cry. Her daughter come in and asks what's wrong.
Don't Get In - 1995 - 1:30 - "If you don't trust the driver, don't get in."
The advert begins with a girl winning a netball game for her team, and later celebrating with her friends. Afterwards she is offered a lift home, but is hesitant to accept as she knows the driver has had a drink. However she succumbs to peer pressure and reluctantly gets in the car only for it to collide with a stone pillar, causing her to suffer severe brain damage. Later, as the viewers are shown how much her life has deteriorated since the injury, the girl says that the worst part was losing all her friends and how much she regrets getting in the car.
Drowning - 1997 - 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 and screams for help, but there is no one around to help him save his family.
Nightshift - 1997 - 1:30 - "Take a break, fatigue kills."
Depicts the driver of a Kombi who decides to drive a long-distance trip overnight without enough sleep, despite his girlfriend suggesting he pulls over if he feels tired. The next morning, as the driver struggles to stay awake, he runs the kombi head-first into a truck, killing himself and his partner.
Young Cops - 1998 - 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 - 1996 - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
12 Days of Christmas (Monday, Wednesday) - 1996 - 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 two children and pregnant wife on Monday. On Wednesday, he drinks alcohol with friends before driving his car, subsequently crashes into a telephone pole and suffers severe brain injury.
12 Days of Christmas (Thursday, Sunday) - 1996 - 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, all telling themselves that he'll be fine. By Sunday it is revealed that his brain has stopped functioning and they must turn off the life-support machines. His devastated parents and wife then say goodbye to him as he is disconnected.
12 Days of Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day) - 1996 - 1:00 - "Should you be driving home tonight?" and "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
A conclusion of the "Thursday, Sunday" advert. On Christmas Eve, the man's funeral is held and, as his wife breaks down in the car, his upset children ask their grandparents if their father will be at the church. On Christmas Day, his devastated wife opens presents with her children as one of them asks if Santa will find their father, and she struggles to answer.
Bush Telegraph - 1997 - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
Depicts a man drinking alcohol with friends before driving home with his son and their dog 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 - 1997 - 1:00 - "10 kph less will save lives."
Very graphic content. Depicts a man being hit by a car at around 70 km/h. 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."
Motorcycle Safety - 1997 - 1:00 - "Motorcycle Riders. Assume the worst in all traffic."
The very first motorcycle safety advertisement from the TAC, this ad features a rider weaving in between traffic when he is struck by a car and loses control, falling off his bike and having his legs run over by a passing vehicle. He is then shown at home, permanently bound to a wheelchair, where he struggles to make it to the bathroom in time before he breaks down crying.
The Pub - 1998 - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're 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 two 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.
Leave the crunching to the Tigers - 1997 - 0:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
This ad consists of footage of players from AFL club Richmond colliding into opposition players during games. The ad ends with a voiceover saying "These are the only crunches the Tigers like to see" before displaying the "Drink, drive, bloody idiot" message, which in this ad, is shown in yellow upon a black background, rather than the usual TAC colour scheme of white upon a black background, as yellow and black are Richmond's team colours.
Leave the speeding to the Bombers - 1999 - 0:31 - "Speed kills." 
Two men are watching AFL club Essendon on TV. After the club scores and celebrates, one of the men rushes into another room and the many things he is quickly doing are audible. Soon he comes back in with a big pile of food. The ad ends with a commentator from the TV saying, "And that's the only speed the Bombers like to see."
The Game - late 1997 - 0:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot."
Two supporters of AFL club Richmond are watching their team play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground while drinking beer. After the game, they are seen walking in the car park. As one of them attempts to unlock the door with his key, they hear a strange noise, which is actually a cartoon tiger on the car's bumper sticker roaring. The men interpret the sound as a sign they have had too much to drink, and decide to walk home instead.
John and Jessica - 1998 - 1:30 - "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot." 
Depicts a couple arguing in a hospital emergency ward because the boyfriend (John) insisted on driving his girlfriend home after drinking even though she claims to have told him she wanted to take a taxi. John initially refuses to take breath and blood tests but the staff insist it is mandatory. The police then arrive to read his rights and tell him that the driver of the other car has died.
Blame - early 1998 - 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 five Ks over the limit, your risk of crashing doubles."
HELP - 1999 - 0:30 - "You never stop learning." 
The first TAC spot targeted at L and P plate drivers, this ad depicts 3 young and inexperienced P plate drivers, who each end up making a serious mistake while driving. Before the outcome of each is shown, the scene cuts away with the voiceover asking the viewer - "what happens now?".
Pinball - 1999 - 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.
Powernap - 1999 - 1:00 - "A 15 minutes powernap could save your life." and "Fatigue kills."
Depicts a tired driver pulling over to take a powernap, then shows an alternative course of events, where the driver does not pull over, instead falling asleep at the wheel. The driver crashes into a construction vehicle at a road works site, with the car bursting into flames before the driver can escape the wreck.
The Hidden Toll - late 1999 - 2:00 - "It's 46 too many."
This advertisement is a montage of various TAC campaigns from the previous 20 years, set to the song "These Days" by Powderfinger. Rather than mentioning death, this ad pointed out the fact that at the time, 46 people were injured on road crashes in Victoria every day.
Never - early 2000 - 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. A series of flashbacks then shows the two of them at his girlfriend's father's birthday. This is intercut with the emergency teams declaring her dead as her father arrives. Her father then discusses all the things she'll never do again, and how he'll never forget having to choose a coffin for his daughter.
Shark - 2000 - 1:00 - "The way we drive is killing Victorians." 
Depicts a boy being attacked by a shark at a beach; the boy 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."
Little Bit Dead - 2003 - 0:30 - "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot."
Depicts a drink driver at the crash explaining what he has caused (e.g. only a LITTLE bit of grief, death). As he is arrested he says, "But I was only a little bit over."
Mobile - mid-2000 - 0:30 - "On the phone? Get off the road."
Depicts a young woman driving on her birthday 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 - 2000 - 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/h over the speed limit who hits a young girl riding a bike. The second shows the events later as he argues with his wife over the incident; he explains that if he'd been under the speed limit he may only have broken her leg.
Haunted - late 2000 - 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 staring accusingly at him. It then shows the man earlier in his life, when he killed the young boy with his car whilst driving with just a small blood alcohol content reading.
Snap - late 2000 - 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 you're lucky, you'll only be snapped twice; one snap if you're 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 you're not so lucky, you'll get a third snap".
15 Years Old - early 2001 - 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. Rather than showing graphic crash scenes, the ad features bright colours and techno music, presumably to appeal to the target demographic.
Scooter - 2001 - 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 - early 2002 - 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 - early 2002 - 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 - late 2001 - 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."
What hurts most - 1995 - 1:01 - "Belt up, or suffer the pain."
Depicts an almost blind person explaining how he lost his vision after taking off his seat belt for a few seconds and then crashed.
The Good Driver - late 2001 - 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-2002 - 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 are an increased number of booze busses operating.
When? (Metro Version) - Summer 2002 - 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 are an increased number of booze busses operating.
Driving While Distracted #1 - early 2002 - 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 - Spring 2002 - 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 2002 - 0:30 - "A 15 minute power nap could save your life."
This advertisement is set at a training session of the Victorian Bushrangers cricket team, at Melbourne's Junction Oval. Bushrangers captain Cameron White talks about how cricket is a game of concentration, and during training, the players take a break every 2 hours to refresh their minds. White says it's the same when a driver is out on the roads.
Slo-Mo - 2002 - 1:01 - "Wipe off 5."
Shows 2 cars at a test scene. One is going 65kmph and the other 60kmph. A truck appears in front of them and they both brake. The driver going 60kmph hits the car at 5kmph, causing a minor dent. The driver going 65kmph hits at 32kmph, seriously damaging the car and injuring himself.
Past-Mortem - 2002 - "Wipe off 5."
Depicts a driver recalling in flashbacks the events leading up to a crash which killed his young daughter, who would have survived had he been travelling at just 5kmph less.
Double Bus - early 2003 - 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 - 2003 - 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 - 2004 - 3:00 - "Slow down. Please."
This news-making advertisement features relatives of 10 real-life victims of crashes where speed was the main factor. In the ad, the people are seeing, holding and staring at photos of the deceased. The song used in this ad is a cover of The Cure's "Pictures of You," performed by Angie Hart.
Want Some? - November 2003 - April 2004 - "If you drive on drugs, you're 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.
We'll catch you before someone gets hurt - 2004 - 0:30 This ad, which aired over the Christmas/New Year holiday period, features Victoria Police's traffic commissioner Ken Lay warning drivers that over the period, the police would have more booze buses and patrol cars on the roads than ever before.
Reconstruction - 2009 - "Wipe off 5."
Depicts Peter Bellion, investigator of the Victoria Police MCIU (Major Collision Investigation Unit), assessing an accident where a woman was killed. He shows a reconstruction where the driver went 5 kilometers slower and the woman only had a bruised leg.
Swap - 2009 - "If you drive on drugs, you're out of your mind."
Depicts a couple at a party. The man smokes a joint of marijuana with a friend. His partner tells him it's time to go home. While driving, he is obviously impaired (waiting at an intersection where there are no cars in sight, alternating in driving too fast and slow). Finally he agrees to let his partner drive. As soon as he steps out of the driver's side, he is hit and killed by an oncoming car.
Levels - 2009 - "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot."
Depicts two people ordering drinks before leaving a bar believing they are still the standard levels to keep you under 0.05. The bartender begins emptying out beer from each glass according to the circumstances of each man (being tired, having earlier drinks, different glass sizes, etc.). They are left with considerably emptier glasses.
The Ride - 2009 - 0:45 - "It's up to you to reduce the risks."  Shows various motorcycle riders taking dangerous chances until one loses control and is hit by an oncoming car.
Everybody Hurts - 2009 - 5:21 - "For everybody's sake, drive safely this Christmas."  A five minute retrospective of the road safety campaigns produced by the TAC over the last 20 years, with the song "Everybody Hurts" by REM playing during the montage.
Motorcycle Reconstruction - 2012 - "Slowing down won't kill you."
A sequel to "Reconstruction" from 2009, again featuring Peter Bellion of the Victoria Police MCIU, who investigates a crash in which a motorcyclist broke his neck on impact with a car. The incident is reconstructed so that the motorcyclist is going slower, he is able to brake earlier and the driver can stop in time.
Video Game Advertising Campaigns
On 10 March 2009, the TAC began in-game advertising in Saint's Row 2, and have their slogans featured on banners in Trackmania Nations. Also in Grand Theft Auto 4 if you get Niko drunk and then drive either he or his drinking partner will say "Niko, if you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot".
Australian Football League Partnerships
The TAC has had partnerships with the Australian Football League and its teams to help road safety messages reach audiences at a grass-roots level.
Most famously, the TAC was the major sponsor of Richmond for 16 years through the "Drink, drive, bloody idiot" campaign, which saw the "Drink drive" message displayed on the team's jerseys which was terminated when a Richmond player was caught drink-driving. The TAC also sponsored Essendon from 1994 until 2000 with the "Don't fool yourself, speed kills" campaign, and Collingwood from 2002 until 2006 with the "Wipe off 5" message.
Non-AFL sporting partnerships
The TAC has been the major sponsor of the quasi-national under-18s Australian Rules Football league, known as the TAC Cup, since its inception in 1992. Outside Australian Rules, the TAC has partnerships with A-League side Melbourne Victory and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.