CYCLISTS injured in accidents with stationary vehicles will be able to get access to Transport Accident Commission (TAC) benefits under new legislation introduced by the Labor state government.
At the moment, cyclists are only entitled to receive TAC support if they hit a moving vehicle, a car door or a stationary vehicle on the way to or from work.
The bill introduced last week will extend TAC benefits to any cyclist injured by accidents with stationary vehicles, regardless of whether they are travelling to or from work.
Dubbed “Rory’s law”, the legislation is in response to a case involving Drysdale man Richard (Rory) Wilson, who was found not eligible to receive compensation for significant injuries suffered when hitting a parked truck in Portarlington while out cycling with friends. The amendment will be retrospective and cover any cyclist who has experienced such accidents since July 9, 2014 – the day Mr Wilson was injured. The bill also extends the travel and accommodation allowance for family members to attend hospital when someone is injured, and pay income support to parents who need to be by the bedside of their injured children.
Other proposed changes include extending family-related benefits to grandparents, extending benefits for dependent children to those completing an apprenticeship, and increasing the cap on travel and accommodation from $10,000 to $20,000 for immediate family to attend hospital for distances greater than 100 kilometres.
The Amy Gillett Foundation has welcomed the news: “this is great news for cyclists, legitimate road users, who are set to have an expanded level of cover when using roads in Victoria”.
Geraldine Collins from the Victorian road injuries team at legal firm Maurice Blackburn said the bill was a further step towards the TAC becoming the world’s leading social insurer.
“It is critical to acknowledge these amendments have come about through a process of government consultation with stakeholders including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Law Institute of Victoria and the TAC. The Andrews Government should be commended for enabling such an ingenuous approach.”