Transport for London launch new cycle awareness vids

Do the test campaign ramped up with murder mystery

by Tony Farrelly   November 6, 2008  


A murder mystery video is the latest weapon to be deployed in Transport for London's Do the Test, cycle safety campaign.

Viewers get to watch a traditional whodunnit solved in double quick time and are then asked if they spotted the 21 changes that took place during the course of the film. The answer when the keen eyed observers here at watched it was… no. Slightly embarrassing considering one of the changes is a very obvious (once you've had it shown to you) switch of corpses.

The point of the film is to demonstrate to road users the need to be constantly aware of what is happening around them as well as directly in front of them. Earlier this year TfL deployed a group of basketball players and a moon-walking bear to make the same point in the first of their Do the Test films. 

Only a tiny fraction of all the information going into your brain enters your consciousness, this  phenomenon is called change blindness and it is what the films use to make their point. People often fail to see a change in their surroundings because their attention is elsewhere.

Even stranger, if you are concentrating on something, you can become blind to other events that you would normally notice. This "inattention blindness" has been suggested as a reason why motorists collide with cyclists.

The message for all road users is the need to be aware of other road users and what's going on around you, and to make sure they are aware of you.

Given the film's demonstration of change and inattention blindness to your surroundings, particularly in stressful situations for cyclists "making other road users aware of you" probably means that making eye contact, is still simplest and surest way of ensuring you've registered your presence in other road users' consciousness. Mind you, that's not so easy at night.

You can catch all the new videos on TfL's Do the test website, or simply scroll down…

4 user comments

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I prefer the dancing bears though Big Grin

Ruthe's picture

posted by Ruthe [50 posts]
6th November 2008 - 16:59

1 Like

I thought there was only one bear…

Crikey, I've got change blindness even when the change is being pointed out to me.

Gonna ride home really slowly tonight then. 

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
6th November 2008 - 17:47


 Just watched the dancing bear one again (that Youtube embed is very clever), there is only one bear!

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
6th November 2008 - 17:53

1 Like

This looks like a shocking micarriage of justice, before plod drag her ladyship off to chokey shouldn't they be having a word with that fella toting the large machine gun in the top right hand corner?!! Thinking

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [153 posts]
6th November 2008 - 19:09

1 Like