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Communicating the cycling safety message - everyone has the right to ride in safety for work and play.

Johnson, M, Gaudry, T, Katz, R

Cycling

ACRS conference 2013

The Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) is focused on the safety of one road user group – bicycle riders. Bicycle riders are vulnerable road users. We recognise that, to achieve safety outcomes for riders, road safety messages and communications need to address all road users. The four components of the Safe System approach underpin the activities of the AGF including our messaging, programs and campaigns.

In this paper, we will present four case studies of major AGF projects that have been implemented using a wide range of communication strategies. Across the case studies we will discuss: the link between research, policy, advocacy and communications, and our successes and challenges working with: traditional mainstream media; online platforms; social media; partnerships and collaborations with cycling-related, health, safety and transport organisations; cycling events; community groups; local government, and; individuals.

The four case studies are: 1) Manifesto for safer bike riding in Australia, the AGF statement of actions for safe cycling, designed to inform and challenge decision makers to commit to change for cycling safety; 2) a metre matters, this long-running campaign uses a strong visual approach to quickly communicate the need for drivers to allow one metre clearance when overtaking bicycle riders. The direct association with advocacy will also be discussed; 3) Cycle Safe Communities is an online platform that provides AGF messages to the public through co-delivery with local government and community groups, and; 4) Ride Right is a rider focused campaign that targets behaviour and responsibilities for bicycle riders to improve their own safety. Humour is used to grab attention.

Arguably the most important factor in promoting road safety messages is consistency. Repetition of key messages increases the likelihood of cut through in the noisy public space. Further, collaboration with local organisations to repeat the messaging leads to enormous benefits and reaches local communities in meaningful ways.