New Zealand cyclist safety campaign slammed by campaigners and scientists

This excellent article from reiterates the view that spending money on campaigns to improve motorists' understanding and acceptance of bike riders is a waste of money.  A current campaign being implemented by the New Zealand Government is "a waste of money, according to Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website".    

Citing the findings of the American Institute for Highway Safety studying 30 years of scientific research into the effectiveness of road safety advertising, Mr Matthew-Wilson said: “Research indicates that education has no effect, or only a very limited effect, on habits like staying within speed limits, heeding stop signs, and using safety belts.”

Dr Terry Macpherson, a lecturer in marketing at Massey University said: "Advertising is a great way of getting people to do what they already want to do, such as buy hamburgers.

“However, ads telling people not to do something generally only work if the person watching the ad is already on your side".

Mr Matthew-Wilson added: “The only real way to protect cyclists from this carnage is to separate them from motorists. Cycle lanes are a good start, but ultimately, there needs to be a physical barrier between cyclists and car users, so the two can’t collide.


New kerbside bikelane in Seattle, with concrete kerb separation

“Road planners tend to see the road as a pipe: the more vehicles you fit through the pipe, the better. However, this sort of road planning inevitably causes competition between motorists and cyclists. The end result is multiple deaths, countless injuries, and a population that is increasingly scared to ride bicycles on public roads.

   It’s time for the government to stop treating cyclists as a nuisance and instead to start treating cyclists as valued citizens who ease congestion, reduce pollution and save fuel. Apart from the weather, the main downside to cycling is the road conditions that the cyclists have to endure.”

 The comments under the article sound pretty familiar to Tasmanian riders.  (Thanks to PeopleForBikes for the photo).


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