Crude, sexist and offensive slogans emblazoned on motor vehicles will soon be banned under new legislation tabled in Parliament this week.
The Marshall Liberal Government has introduced a Bill to make amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act 1959 that would give the Registrar of Motor Vehicles expanded powers to take action against obscene material.
Under the amendments, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles will have a discretionary power to cancel a vehicle’s registration, if the registered owner has refused to modify or remove offending material at the request of the independent, non-government body Ad Standards.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Corey Wingard said the strict approach will allow complaints made by members of the public to be acted upon.
“There is no place for this type of garbage in our community,” Minister Wingard said.
“That’s why we’ve taken action to ensure demeaning and disgusting slogans will no longer appear on vehicles driving around South Australia.”
The Government’s Bill is in response to the concerning number of complaints made to Ad Standards about vehicles displaying sexist, discriminatory or otherwise offensive advertising in breach of an advertising standards code.
The vast majority of the complaints have been related to a company known as ‘Wicked Campers’.
In August 2019, all relevant state ministers agreed to develop a nationally-consistent approach to removing vehicles with offensive advertising from Australia’s road network, and amend legislation accordingly.
Ad Standards received 14 complaints involving ‘Wicked Campers’ vehicles in 2019 and 2020 to date, combined, with all complaints having been upheld.
In 2018, there were 47 complaints involving 20 ‘Wicked Campers’ vehicles. Of those, 18 of the vehicles had complaints upheld.