A couple of bike safety videos have been making the rounds.
This video illustrating the danger of wrong way cycling from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation won a “Best PSA” Emmy award in 2006.
Streetsblog objects to this “flippant, counterproductive” spot because it “plays up the supremacy of the motorist by likening cyclists to insects,” in the same way, I suppose, that the Partnership for a Drug Free America likened drug users to eggheads.
The discussion started with a PSA by the New York Bike Safety Coalition illustrating the importance of paying attention while cycling.
I understand Streetsblog’s objection that these ads highlight the dangers of cycling and will discourage people from riding a bike. I publish Cyclelicious in large part to remind people that bicycling is a fun and safe way to get around. A big part of this safety, however, is understanding the risks and paying attention to them. If you regularly ride the wrong way on the sidewalk, you will eventually get hit. As Cycle Dog wrote to me privately, “If a 15mph cyclist and a 35 mph vehicle hit head on, the combined velocity is 50 mph, and that’s not very survivable.”
What do you think? Are ads like this counterproductive to cycling advocacy? Do they work for their intended audience of people who already bike? Do they scare you from the road, or do they perform their intended function of exhorting you to ride a little more safely?
Speaking of dangerous cycling, I heard there was a bike commuter on I-25 by the I-225 Interchange around the Denver Tech Center area south of Denver. Today is Bike to Work Day in Colorado, and I’ve heard similar tales of first time bike commuters who take the only route they know to work (the freeway) to get to work.
Related: Mindful vs Mindless Cycling.