It is very apparent that the TAC has major crediblity issues.
It is understandable that Rachel Roberts was not available to be interviewed by Hinch. Ms Roberts has more than suffered enough, however the TAC could simply publish her accident report, omit the boyfriends name or that of the witnesses. The TAC would then restore credibility in this particular ad. The likelyhood of this occuring is more remote than finding WMDs in Iraq!
TAC defends speed ad
By PETER MICKELBUROUGH, state politics reporter
THE latest Traffic Accident Commission commercial urging motorists to slow down has been branded a tragic lie.
National Motorists' Association Australia secretary Jim Wright claims speed was not the key cause of an accident that injured a woman in the advertisement.
Mr Wright has called for the ad, which features crash victim Rachel Roberts, to be withdrawn immediately.
Mr Wright said the commercial glossed over the real cause of Ms Roberts' accident to claim it was caused by the driver going 5km/h over the speed limit.
The TAC yesterday rejected Mr Wright's claim, saying police and witnesses had identified speed as a major contributing factor.
Mr Wright said Ms Roberts' own words, on the State Government-sponsored Teenagers' Road Accident Group website, revealed that driver inexperience and bald tyres in t conditions were the "real cause" of the accident.
Ms Roberts was 28 at the time of the 1998 crash.
"It was around 1pm and a very hot day and then it started to pour with rain," Ms Roberts says on the website.
"My boyfriend was still on his P plates, so he was inexperienced, and he had bald tyres on the car. My dad and my future brother-in-law had been telling him to get new tyres on his car."
TAC road safety general manager David Healy said that while it had been spitting earlier in the day, a police accident report said it was not raining at the time of the crash.
Mr Healy said photographs of the crash did not suggest the tyres were bald and this was not mentioned in the police report.
Although Ms Roberts does not mention speed on the website, Mr Healy said the police accident investigation report said it was a key contributor.
Witnesses believed the car was travelling at 5-6km/h above the 70km/h speed limit.
Mr Healy said the ad was part of a long-term campaign and would not be withdrawn.
"We have no doubt that speed was a major contributing factor," he said.
But Mr Wright, who has not seen the police report or spoken to Ms Roberts, said the ad was a disgrace.
He said the NMAA believed excessive focus on speed was taking attention from other more important factors, such as the need for better driver education.
Ms Roberts was injured after her boyfriend's car slammed into a tree after failing to take a bend on the Warrandyte-Ringwood Rd.