Published date: 13 Nov 2023
A new road safety campaign is directly targeting Victorian traffic offenders in an effort to educate drivers on the real cost of risky behaviours, to themselves and the community.
The Transport Accident Commission has launched the new ‘Dear Driver’ campaign, which uses traffic infringement letters to educate offenders through real-life stories of survivors and a first-responder.
The TAC has collaborated with Fines and Enforcement Services, Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) and Victoria Police to develop the innovative campaign, which focuses on offenders caught speeding, running a red light, and illegally using a device while driving.
Offenders who receive an infringement notice will now find a letter written by VIC SES first-responder, Mark, reflecting on his first-hand experience with road trauma – a reminder that while a hefty penalty may feel harsh, things could have been much worse.
The letter ends with a QR code, directing offenders to one of three emotional video messages, depending on the infringement type, where either Mark or two other road trauma survivors share their personal story of when the offender’s driving behaviour has impacted them.
The campaign comes as 258 people have lost their lives on Victorian roads so far this year, exceeding the total number of fatalities in 2023 (241).
TAC CEO Tracey Slatter said more than 7000 driving infringement notices were issued across Victoria each day, providing a unique opportunity for the TAC’s Dear Driver campaign to communicate directly with known offenders.
“Dear Driver is a bold initiative, speaking directly to those who need our message most. Through empathy and real-life stories, we hope to ignite a change in behaviour and pave the way to safer roads,” Ms Slatter said.
“This campaign is a call to all drivers to reflect on their actions, change their behaviour, and take an active role in driving down road trauma on Victorian roads.”
The final step of the campaign asks offenders to make a pledge to drive safely, by signing their name and clicking a ‘commit’ button.
“Road safety is more than rules and penalties – it’s about people’s lives. By connecting with offenders on an emotional level, we hope to bring about a cultural shift towards safer decision making on our roads,” Ms Slatter said.
By directly targeting offending drivers, the TAC aims to influence the perceptions and reinforce the very real consequences of risky and illegal driving behaviours.
The Dear Driver infringement notices campaign is an initiative of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which commits to the ambitious target of eliminating death from our roads by 2050.
View a compilation video of the real-life stories central to this campaign here on the TAC YouTube channel.