How 'Share the Road' Campaigns Distract from the Real Problems of Traffic Safety

Following a close call on his bike, a writer questions the perverted logic of safety campaign slogans that share, equally, the onus for traffic safety between cars and bikes.
northallertonman / Shutterstock

The blogger for The Invisible Visible Man recalls how being passed within six inches by a cab driver in New York City made him question the efficacy of "share the road" campaigns.

"…it’s self-evidently bizarre to argue that the solution to drivers’ killing people is to ask everyone to be nice." 

The post goes on to break down the merits of the "Leave it on the road" messaging that's part of the "Share the Road" campaign promoted by Trasnport for London.

"Leave it on the road," according to the post, "suggests that the real problem is people’s malice towards each other or negative perceptions. It ignores the evidence that negligence, inattention and poor risk assessment are significant causes of car crashes. It puts the focus on vulnerable road users’ reaction to negligent driving. It suggests that all cyclists and pedestrians are somehow collectively responsible for each others’ behaviour. Motorists are helpless vessels full of potential rage that cyclists or pedestrians can make explode or safely depressurise." 

Other examples of such safety campaigns: "Respect is a Two-Way Street" and (as mentioned by a commenter) "The Nice-Way Code."

"The question," according to the post, "is why 'share the road' campaigns continue to consume energy that could be better directed elsewhere."

Full Story: A close pass, a misguided campaign - and why I won't just leave it on the road


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