Despite already being embarrassed once this year by bike-shaming advertisements, the WA Government has doubled down with a confusing anti-speeding and anti-riding campaign.
The WA Road Safety Commission’s Lose you licence. What’s your option? campaign portrays the life of Cam who got caught speeding too many times and now must ride a bike to get around.
It uses videos to show his seemingly dire situation.
One video shows Cam longing to use his car while he pushes off to his job as a tradie on two wheels.
“At least you’ve got your bike,” teases the condescending voiceover as he heads to work.
However, that’s not the only message Cam hears from above. “At least you’re getting fit” is the jibe he receives in a similarly smarmy tone as he is shown riding up a hill in another video.
The campaign is a reboot of February’s Speeding slows you down that was pulled by the government days after it was launched. It was widely attacked for showing bike riding as ‘social suicide’.
After the foolishness of that cmapaign was realised, WA Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts demanded videos be pulled and shifted the blame.
“I did not see them before they went live and as soon as concerns were raised with me, I acted swiftly to have them taken down,” said Ms Roberts.
However, it then came out that the videos used in the speeding slows you down campaign were sent to Ms Roberts office for approval before they were released.
Despite the embarrassment, the government is still committed to behaviour change advertising, however, they aren’t committed enough to create a new campaign.
Instead of doing the sensible thing and starting again from scratch, they’re reusing some of the videos from February this year, just with a different voiceover.
Rather than a rethink, they seem to have opted to just pick up the scraps from the cutting room floor.
So just where does Western Australia stand on bike riding?
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that the campaign is conflicting, behind the times and a waste of money.
"It’s just baffling. In a modern society why would you want to portray bike riding, car sharing and public transport as a criminal sentence?" said Mr Richards.
"Surely these are modes of transport we need to promote not denigrate? Sadly the rest of the world will again look at West Australia as backwards."
"And the poor people of WA must be confused. On one hand their government is encouraging bike riding for transport, on the other hand it’s saying bike riding is a punishment for offenders."
"With both messages cancelling each other out it’s just a waste of valuable public money."
Can you spot the difference?
One of these screenshots is from the canned February campaign and another from the renewed version.
Videos from Lose you licence. What’s your option?