Changes to the Transport Accident Act 1986

On 7 June 2018 the Treasury and Finance Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was second read in the Lower House of the Victorian Parliament.

The Bill contained important amendments to the Transport Accident Act 1986.

Proposed amendments resulted from a consultation process between the Law Institute, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).  Peter Burt serves as a representative on the Consultation Committee.

With the Bill having now become law, cyclists who collide with stationary vehicles are now covered by TAC.  They are entitled to compensation from the TAC.  Prior to this change, only a very limited group of cyclists were entitled to compensation.  It was those who collided with stationary vehicles whilst riding to or from work.  

Also, cyclists who strike open car doors are covered.  However, prior to the amendment, cyclists who hit stationary or parked motor vehicles were not entitled to receive TAC compensation.

This is a significant broadening of TAC’s liability to pay compensation to cyclists.  Further, the changes were retrospective.  They apply to all cyclists injured as a result of collisions with stationary or parked vehicles since 9 July 2014.

There are a number of other positive changes that will benefit transport accident victims.  The abolition of the medical excess of $651.00.  An increase in travel and accommodation expenses.  The increase from $10,000.00 to $20,000.00 (indexed annually) covers immediate family members visiting an accident victim in hospital more than 100 kilometres from their home.

All of the recent changes are positive for transport accident victims.  We congratulate the TAC and Victorian Government on these very positive changes to the TAC scheme.