I just saw this ad on tv. The Amy Gillet Foundation has created an ad called 'A metre matters' reminding car drivers to keep a metre from cyclists.





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What is a "line of traffic"? Presumably if you are taking the lane you are part of the "line of traffic", but if you are in the gutter you might be considered a second "line of traffic" that a driver would not have to return to.

This sort of graphic makes the message much easier to read quickly:

from US site 3 Feet Please.
Not sure if the arrows pointing both sides are a good idea. Sorta implies you could pass the rider up the inside.
Maybe so, but if it could be done and leave a clear metre gap then it shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that I think the design of the "metres matter" message on the Body Torque Amy Gillett jersey is not prominent enough to be easily understood quickly by approaching vehicles.
I don't think it's a good idea to wear a jersey indicating the safe passing distance for motorists. This simply reinforces the perception that the road is dangerous for cyclists. People will read the jersey and think "that's why I don't cycle".

I think the wearing of slogans to teach or remind motorists does not work because motorists are already overwhelmed by visual stimuli on the roads. In addition, it is possible that some motorists may lose concentration, drive slower or too close just to read your jersey.

The TV advertisement and "A Metre Matters" rides have great potential to educate people about the importance of giving cyclists a safe minimum distance. However the advertisement I saw on the Foundation's website was nonsensical. When I watched the video I thought the motorist was not paying attention to driving his vehicle and that's why he struck the cyclist. So how can you maintain a minimum safe distance when you don't even know the cyclist is there???

While television and radio advertisements have a role to play in educating motorists, the issue can only be fully addressed by introducing mandatory 'cycling-in-traffic-so-you-know-what-it's-like" exercises for those applying for a driver's licence.
Report on the campaign in UK, where Govt rejected a petition to make the 3 ft passing distance a law.
Seems one reason for rejecting it is that it would make it difficult in court cases. It may be that passing at say 80 cm was safe enough in the circumstances, and how could you measure it anyway? The CTC didnt back the petition either, as they wanted speed to be considered too. However it seems to work OK in France and Germany, where it is 1 m in residential areas, 1.5 m in rural , and there are road signs up reminding motorists of the requirement.

Meantime, across the waters in 'space - crunched' Singapore , a campaign calling for 1.5m for safe overtaking of cyclists, and sponsored by a major Bank, and supported with a specific statement in "driving theory handbooks -  drivers have to give cyclists 1.5m of space when overtaking them."







Looks like all Australia needs to do is to value the lives of their cyclists enough.




And to add, reading the article further:

"Beginning today, motorists who refuel at Caltex stations will be given the OCBC Cycle Singapore Safe Cycling Campaign decals. To encourage motorists to place the decal on their vehicles, Radio 91.3 will run a contest ‘Put the Decal On!’ from 29 November 2010 to 18 December 2010. Motorists spotted with the decal on their vehicles during this period will stand a chance to win $200 Caltex StarCash.  A grand lucky draw will be conducted on 20 December 2010, where 20 winners will be drawn..."


Meaning that the campaign is supported by a bank - OCBC, a petrol company - Caltex and a Radio station complete with prizes to encourage the use of the decals and pushing the message through to drivers.


Nice read! This guy is a demon:

"I had just turned left from a filter lane when a 10-foot lorry made a U-turn and hit me from behind."

According to him, both he and his bike were pinned under the lorry and dragged for about two metres.

He said: "When it happened, I grabbed a bar on the lorry's undercarriage and just held on for dear life. My friends thought I was finished."

Small point: they should have 1.5m instead of 1.5M on their shirts - is that mega:  1.5 million metres? Should be safe then..

it is short for a mega-micrometre !

Change lanes would be far safer than 1m, and in NSW that is in fact the requirement on a multilane road.


People can't judge 1m for squat - they can judge change lane because then they have objects or markings on the right side of the vehicle where they can judge the car position reasonably.


This is another reason why we need a Rally for Safe Cycling......it all points to it (IMHO)



Another good article in the SMH, some unusually strong comments from BNSW



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