New laws introduced in Queensland yesterday will target offensive slogans on vehicles register in the state, and by default, could also target belligerent bumper stickers too.
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has brought in the new legislation to crack down on advertising slogans such as the likes of Wicked Camper vans, whose charming sentiments include classic one-liners like ‘Life sucks if your girlfriend doesn’t’. However Bailey couldn’t deny these laws would also apply to bumper stickers.
“It really is a matter for the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) to make a judgement on these sorts of things,” he said, per a Fairfax report.
“The intention isn’t to capture the stickers, no, but whether people make a complaint on that basis or not, that’s really up to them, and I’m sure the Advertising Standards Bureau will make a sensible decision on these sorts of things.”
The issue was raised when it was suggested that Wicked Camper Vans could circumvent the ban by slapping obscene stickers on the car.
“In that case, if someone makes a complaints against a vehicle, and it goes to the Advertising Standards Bureau and they uphold the complaint, then they will be issued with a notice to comply,” Bailey added.
“I don’t encourage anybody out there to have stickers which have swear words or offensive things on them. We should have some kind of general community respect.”
The bill was introduced into Queensland parliament on Tuesday, which means that people who refuse to remove offensive slogans from their vehicles can wind up having their registration cancelled.
“This is very much targeted at vehicles and I think it’s well known that there’s been one particular company, Wicked Campers, that’s been very much non-compliant with the general standards,” Bailey said.
“I think women deserve respect in our community and they certainly don’t deserve to have these offensive slogans in traffic.”
The rules don’t extend to the rest of Australia, however, meaning vehicles registered in other states won’t be subject to the ban.
Bailey explained that if someone took to the Advertising Standards Board with a complaint and that complaint was upheld, then Transport and Main Roads’ CEO would then contact the owner of the vehicle and give them 14 days to remove the offensive material, lest their vehicle get de-registered.