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Public Service Announcement: effective?

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Public Service Announcement: effective?

Old 03-06-06, 08:48 PM
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Public Service Announcement: effective?

Many of us believe that motorists need education. I am one of them.

Do you think a public service announcement like this one, remade for bicycles, would help educate motorists?

http://www.randybozarth.com/mc/images/howclose.mpg
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Old 03-06-06, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Many of us believe that motorists need education. I am one of them.

Do you think a public service announcement like this one, remade for bicycles, would help educate motorists?

http://www.randybozarth.com/mc/images/howclose.mpg

that got my attention.

I think PSA's are a great idea if produced well. But they have to compete with commercials that cost many times more money and if they're not slick they can be counter productive.so it's tough to see that money spent on such a risky proposition. this one worked for me.

another option are ads like the one that ran for a while last year for some car that had headlights that swiveled as the car turned (was it VW?) and the car lights a cyclist as he goes down a huge hill at high speed and they exchange a "thanks" moment of mutual respect at the end. It would behoove bike manufacturers and advocacy groups to team up with forward thinking automobile companies like Trek did with VW. anything that shows we're out there and should be respected is useful.
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Old 03-06-06, 09:37 PM
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Not at all. I think most motorists don't really care, and as long as they don't end up in jail, nothing will make them care. (I'm in the United States). Show five burly cops bending a driver over the hood of a cruiser and cuffing him/her, and then the judge's gavel banging, and the cell door closing at San Quentin, and that "might" get their attention, but I really doubt it.
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Old 03-06-06, 11:29 PM
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I like this ad. Seems like this message would benefit both bicyclists and motor bikers.

Maybe a problem in the US is that we have fewer of either, and more cars.

I doubt any amount of PSAs could significantly change that. Maybe $5/gal gasoline....
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Old 03-07-06, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Many of us believe that motorists need education. I am one of them. Do you think a public service announcement like this one, remade for bicycles, would help educate motorists?
--- Not like this one. I think PSA's can be very useful if they capture the empathy of the audience. This particular PSA presents (yet another) guilt-provoking admonition. Most us us are already assailed by daily diatribes from politically correct, self-righteous, demagogues.
I want public messages of bicycling advocacy to be creative enough to provide the viewers with insight so as to elicit their EMPATHY and not their guilt.
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Old 03-07-06, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 77Univega
--- Not like this one. I think PSA's can be very useful if they capture the empathy of the audience. This particular PSA presents (yet another) guilt-provoking admonition. Most us us are already assailed by daily diatribes from politically correct, self-righteous, demagogues.
I want public messages of bicycling advocacy to be creative enough to provide the viewers with insight so as to elicit their EMPATHY and not their guilt.
Give an example of a creative, empathy-inducing message.
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Old 03-07-06, 10:00 AM
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Good find... My wife and I were both moved by it... And while I think 77 has a point... I think that it takes a combination of different PSAs to reach everyone. People are motivated by different things... depending on their upbringing. Some folks need a good shot in the guilt to get them thinking... others are motivated by altruism and saw that "headlight" commercial as cool. Still others might need a commercial that shows the 5 burley cops.

We all don't eat the same foods or have the same tastes... a wide range of PSAs is probably best.

As for the quality, well this mov was done quite well and had a pretty darn important message. I think it works quite well.
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Old 03-07-06, 10:26 AM
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I certainly thought it was effective. I think a range of such announcements to carry distinct, but related messages would be a good idea.

For examply, I'd like to see some demonstrating how cyclists benefit motorists. Something along the lines of, "Wow! You found an empty parking space! Thank a cyclist!"

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Old 03-07-06, 11:23 AM
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Couldn't hurt.
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Old 03-07-06, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by budster
Give an example of a creative, empathy-inducing message.
The San Francisco Coexist campaign always made me smile.

http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedim...ueeze_bq1b.jpg



http://www.bicycle.sfgov.org/site/dp...ge.asp?id=3828
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Old 03-07-06, 02:12 PM
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While the PSA certainly got my attention, I don't think it's conveying anything that most motorists don't already know.

The problem is that you can get away with a half-assed look hundreds if not thousands of times, and it's only natural for one's subconcious to not notice a biker coming on the one rare occasion where it matters. After all, he is not nearly as significant of a threat to the motorist as is say a delivery van.

That's why, practically speaking, the onus has to be on the biker to avoid these types of crashes, who carries the brunt of the pain if he is missed, and also encounters the situation much more often.

I don't care how many PSAs are out there, that's never going to affect how I approach intersections... trust but verify. I will never put my life into the hands of a motorist.
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Old 03-07-06, 03:31 PM
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As a motorist, when there's no designated bike lane, you should use the oncoming traffic lane to cautiously pass bikes.
I guess the intention is good, but the message is not quite right. So if there is a bike lane, you should honk and buzz the cyclist? Shouldn't the message be that you should drive responsibly even when you feel that others aren't?
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Old 03-07-06, 03:49 PM
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I don't know about that one. A good point was the look on the drivers face just before the motorbike hit.

BUT in the end the driver is fine and the motorcyclist is on the ground. Wrong message. It says you will walk away from an accident with a bike.

If nothing else I'd prefer a tag line like...

Next time it might be a speeding semi.
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Old 03-07-06, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by genec
I think it works quite well.
I only watched it with no audio and even then the message was clear. Good video. But was the (motor) cyclist riding in the center of the lane and did they have a bright front light?

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Old 03-07-06, 04:33 PM
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Just a thought riding home today If many cyclist incorrectly think riding on sidewalks is safer I imagine most motorists do. Which leaves most motorists thinking that street riding cyclists are intentionally putting themselves at risk just for selfish convienience. Why should motorist respect street cyclists if they don't respect themselves? Do some think like that? Perhaps PSAs need to target this? (please take any and all debate about sidewalk riding to the sticky)

Al
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Old 03-08-06, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
While the PSA certainly got my attention, I don't think it's conveying anything that most motorists don't already know.

The problem is that you can get away with a half-assed look hundreds if not thousands of times, and it's only natural for one's subconcious to not notice a biker coming on the one rare occasion where it matters. After all, he is not nearly as significant of a threat to the motorist as is say a delivery van.
If it gets some motorists to give a second look, it's worthwhile. Like you say, they "know" it already, but we "know" lots of things that we, out of habit, don't do.



That's why, practically speaking, the onus has to be on the biker to avoid these types of crashes, who carries the brunt of the pain if he is missed, and also encounters the situation much more often.

I don't care how many PSAs are out there, that's never going to affect how I approach intersections... trust but verify. I will never put my life into the hands of a motorist.
That's exactly the lesson I drew from this. As a cyclist, my consequences are a lot higher than the motorist's. So I always give at least a second look, I always try to be as visible and predictable as possible and I try to always have a Plan B for when motorists still don't see me.
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Old 03-08-06, 07:04 PM
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I was thinking something like those morbid drunk driving film clip PSA's
that show home video of someone doing something fun and festive and
then it just goes black and says " _ _ _ _ _ Died on June 16th from
being hit by a drunk driver"
But really, I dont think anything will change drivers attitudes until they
start to lose money from there actions. Think of the local speedtrap in
your town....drivers are automaticly conditioned to slow down when they
approach it due to the effect of repeated stops. When drivers become
trained to beleive they will lose some money by assaulting bike riders, only
then will there be a change. Right now, in a world that is growing increasingly
fast paced, angry, hostile and everything is perceived as an inconvenience,
there is no reason for them to change thier attitudes.
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Old 03-08-06, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
I was thinking something like those morbid drunk driving film clip PSA's
that show home video of someone doing something fun and festive and
then it just goes black and says " _ _ _ _ _ Died on June 16th from
being hit by a drunk driver"
But really, I dont think anything will change drivers attitudes until they
start to lose money from there actions. Think of the local speedtrap in
your town....drivers are automaticly conditioned to slow down when they
approach it due to the effect of repeated stops. When drivers become
trained to beleive they will lose some money by assaulting bike riders, only
then will there be a change. Right now, in a world that is growing increasingly
fast paced, angry, hostile and everything is perceived as an inconvenience,
there is no reason for them to change thier attitudes.

Good points, especially when the usual outcome of a motorist killing a cyclist is usually a slap on the wrist and a comment from the court along the lines of "well the motorist is really really sorry... "
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Old 03-08-06, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Just a thought riding home today If many cyclist incorrectly think riding on sidewalks is safer I imagine most motorists do. Which leaves most motorists thinking that street riding cyclists are intentionally putting themselves at risk just for selfish convienience. Why should motorist respect street cyclists if they don't respect themselves? Do some think like that? Perhaps PSAs need to target this? (please take any and all debate about sidewalk riding to the sticky)

Al
You touched upon something very critical here, Al.

Reminds of a fatality that occured on a rural highway a couple of years ago.
Four cyclists were riding near the right edge (narrow 10 foot lane, no shoulder, just a fog line) of a 2 lane highway. No other same-direction traffic. An oncoming F250 driver decides to pass two slower vehicles in front of him, one towing a boat. He changed lanes and began to pass. The 1st and 2nd cyclists saw the truck coming in their lane at them, and instinctively slowed, the 3rd cyclist did not see the truck coming, and instinctively moved left in response to the sudden braking in front of him, right into the path of the F250. When the CHP officers showed up, they interviewed everyone, declared the pickup driver "did nothing wrong", and released him, before the M.E. even got to the scene. No test for alcohol... No photos of the pickup taken... Just, "the driver did nothing wrong". Never mind that he was driving in the oncoming lane when it had traffic in it! Months later the CHP revised the original finding of the onscene CHP officer, but by then the opportunity to do a proper exam at the scene was long gone.

The relationship to what you said is that in the articles about the accident, I remember the quotes of the CHP officer indicated an attitude similar to the one you describe: almost a dismissal of the cyclist, as if he got what he deserved.

It's understandable. When you're in a cage, and you see a slow moving unprotected soul out there, it does look crazy to the uninitiated. I can see how someone would presume that all cyclists are idiots for simply being out there. Sorry, but this just came to me, and I can't resist. Isn't that what bike lanes are for? To protect the idiots, at least a little bit?
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Old 03-08-06, 08:33 PM
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A lot of the things that I think about in studying this forum
bases a lot of stuff on the thoery that most drivers are rational
and are capable of reacting to an emergancy situation competently.
This is what I have a problem with. I think a very high percentage
of drivers are really wanting in thier skills. I dont mean the angry,
unreasonable type, I mean your MiniVan Mom who is too harried to
do a head check or the Cadillac octogenerian that wonders when
they let kids on bikes off the sidewalk and on the road.....This is a
factor we have no control over.
People need knowledge to go with an attitude change.......Maybe a
more focused and intense bicycle awareness program in high school
driver ed. and the test itself be very bicycle knowledge intensive like
they do with school bus laws?
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Old 03-08-06, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It's understandable. When you're in a cage, and you see a slow moving unprotected soul out there, it does look crazy to the uninitiated. I can see how someone would presume that all cyclists are idiots for simply being out there.
So perhaps there is the need of the more fundamental PSA that not only educates motorist about cyclists right to the road, but also that it is the safest place for them to ride.

That is needed to address the non-cyclist motorist mindset of "just because one has a right, doesn't mean its the right thing to do"

Al
ps-try and keep the BL crap outa this thread and try to keep the focus on PSAs.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:05 PM
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I'm glad the discussion is interesting. I really think PSAs could help a lot. Even or especially at a micro-level.

In my town there's a controversy about these mini-roundabout traffic calming devices they've been putting in. One of the main concerns I read in the Letters to the Editor all the time is that the roundabout "forces cars to veer into the 'bike lane'" or "forces bicyclists into the roadway". (There is no bike lane--these are residential streets.)

A good PSA could show people how to deal with roundabouts, and how bicyclists should simply take the lane through them. Then they would stop fearing for the "poor bicyclists" and start seeing that these roundabouts put nobody in danger if everybody simply takes their turn.

(By the way, I don't think any of the complaints are really about bicyclist safety. They are from these hard-core car-centered people who simply don't want to be slowed down and use appealing to the concern for the "defensless" in their arguments when they write their letters to the editor.)

And like HH said above, some of these folks are so afraid for us. They need to see that if people simply obey the rules of the road it all works out just fine.

I for one, in addition to a roundabout lession, would like to see PSAs illustrating the danger of bad cycling vs good cycling. A PSA that shows cyclists how to ride safe (on the right side of the road, obeying stop signs, not riding on the sidewalk), and shows motorists that cyclists riding safe are not to be feared or overly concerned with.

After watching it, I would like parents to feel like they learned something that they could teach their kids. And then their kids will know how to ride safe and then they will have their freedom. That freedom and independence you get when you can go where you want when you want is wonderful when you are a kid and too many are denied that nowadays.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:19 PM
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I agree that the problem requires a more fundamental message than "look twice for cyclists", and should encompass cyclist education as well as motorist. HH mentioned the difficulty for drivers of remembering to "look twice" when 999 times out of a 1000 nothing bad happens if they don't. Multiply that by the multiple places a cyclist who is not following the rules of the road could be (wrong side, in crosswalk, etc.), and there's no way you can hold drivers responsible for making all those considerations at every intersection. Even if you want to argue that they should, in the real world they won't.

I've mentioned this idea before (and not acted on it yet), but I'd like to see PSA's targeted to cyclists and their friends and family, emphasizing advantages of the road over the sidewalk, and riding with traffic instead of against it. We all know how much miseducation there is about this stuff out there. Let's start by "getting our own house in order", then we will be in a better position to "preach" to others. And maybe save some lives in the process. Can I get an Amen?

Edit: I see we were on the same wavelength, Diane, writing our messages at the same time.
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Old 03-09-06, 04:37 AM
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Hopefully this is not digressing and if it is my apologies and
will accept being told so.....
I read in many different forums here posts from people who are very
anti-mirrors, 'reflectors suck !', 'a horn weighs too much'......etc.
If a well meaning authoratarian person / official/ agency offered lots
of well made PSA's and lets say, some fluff law or legislation somewhere
provided we police ourselves and have a mirror, horn and rear blinkie
would people go along with it ?? I know there are statutes that require
them in many places but realisticly it is never enforced. And, if things
stayed status-quo, as in, cars still assaulting us regularly, would people
take the stuff off using the excuse the PSA's arent working ??
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Old 03-11-06, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
Hopefully this is not digressing and if it is my apologies and
will accept being told so.....
I read in many different forums here posts from people who are very
anti-mirrors, 'reflectors suck !', 'a horn weighs too much'......etc.
If a well meaning authoratarian person / official/ agency offered lots
of well made PSA's and lets say, some fluff law or legislation somewhere
provided we police ourselves and have a mirror, horn and rear blinkie
would people go along with it ?? I know there are statutes that require
them in many places but realisticly it is never enforced. And, if things
stayed status-quo, as in, cars still assaulting us regularly, would people
take the stuff off using the excuse the PSA's arent working ??
There's a long-running debate about whether the best focus for advocacy is
  • Educating motorists
  • Educating cyclists
  • Both
You're talking about cyclist education. This thread is concerned with motorist education.

I think what you're talking about deserves a thread of its own.

But to play along briefly...

It's a thorny issue.

On the one hand, it seems perfectly fair to require cyclists to have safety equipment. But as you point out, when laws do exist they are not usually well-publicized or enforced. Some would argue that such laws discriminate against poor folks, as it's a greater burden for poor cyclists to comply with such laws. Likewise, enforcing the laws aggressively would smack of classist/racist oppression.

As far as whether PSAs can solve all our problems -- no. I think the number one way to improve cycling safety is to ride attentively, and to teach others always to pay attention, too. There are, of course, many other ways to improve safety.

I think a PSA like this one could do some good. It would educate motorists and cyclists. Sure, not everyone would pay attention to such a PSA but if only a few drivers (and/or cyclists) started paying more attention, it could be worthwhile.

I don't think the continuing friction between cyclists and drivers could be lain at the feet of such a PSA regardless. Very few societal problems have simple, one-stop-shopping fixes.

It would seem to be something of a moot point now, anyway. Have you ever seen/heard a PSA in the US that was at all concerned with cycling? I've heard the concept discussed here on bike forums, but I've never seen or heard such a thing.
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