South Australia is on track to become the fifth Australian state to ban “crude” and “offensive” slogans on vehicles, such as Wicked Campers.
On Thursday, the SA Lower House passed a Bill to enable its Department of Transport to deregister vehicles with offending slogans. According to ABC News, the Bill is is expected to pass the Upper House this month.
For ten years, women’s rights group Collective Shout has vocally opposed Wicked Campers and the messages it emblazons upon its hire cars. The lobby group maintains these slogans can go as far as “promoting and trivialising the rape, murder and torture of women”.
In 2019, Collective Shout also cheered the announcement by state Transport Ministers to a national approach to deregister vans with slogans found in breach of advertising code of ethics, if the slogan is not removed.
In response to that national approach, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews posted: “There’s no place for demeaning, misogynistic rubbish on our roads – or in our state.”
As Collective Shout posted to Facebook in response to the SA bill: “The [national] approach requires legislation across all states to be effective. Currently, Wicked Campers can register offending vehicles in jurisdictions where legislation is yet to be passed.”
“South Australia is the fifth state to effectively ban Wicked Campers’ mobile misogyny,” wrote Collective Shout.
“It joins Queensland, Tasmania, ACT and Northern Territory.”
SA Labor’s spokesperson for the Status of Women, Katrine Hildyard, said the SA Liberal Government delayed the Bill for two years. But she acknowledged Collective Shout’s role in initially sparking the legislation.
“Campaigning against these slogans began when a courageous 11-year-old girl, offended by a Wicked Campers’ slogan, initiated a petition that attracted 126,000 signatures, which Collective Shout
then supported her with,” said Hildyard.
“The slogans and accompanying imagery go way beyond what is acceptable; they are just plain offensive by anyone’s standards … These racist, homophobic and misogynistic slogans that promote disrespect and violence against women will finally be banned from South Australian roads.”