Belarus police set up fake crash scene with "cyclist" casualty; how many drivers stopped?

More than 9 in 10 motorists drove past bloodied "rider" and mangled bike without stopping

by Simon_MacMichael   March 18, 2014  

Police tape (CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr)

Police in Belarus have employed a novel way of reinforcing to drivers the need to look out for cyclists – by staging a fake collision scene, with a mangled bike and a dummy standing in for an unconscious cyclist, complete with fake blood.

Going by pictures posted to the Belarusian website, Tut.by, it was a chillingly convincing scene, complete with fake blood.

But BBC News, citing the Tut.by report, says that only nine motorists stopped their vehicles, out of 186 that passed by.

That’s a rate of one in 20, even though in some cases a police officer played the part of a passer-by and attempted to flag down passing traffic to alert them to the scene.

One of them drove past the incident but went back to investigate further, and five other motorists reported what they had seen when they reached a traffic checkpoint further down the road.

Each of the "Good Samaritans" received a calendar and a licence plate frame for having stopped.

One middle-aged couple that stopped at the scene offered to take the casualty to hospital until they were told that wouldn’t be necessary.

Asked whether, had the incident been real, he’d have been worried about blood staining the back seat of his car, the man, Grigory Yevgenievich replied: "Human life is precious, and you can always wash your seat covers."

Some of the drivers that did stop were said to have run towards the prone figure, in the hope of being able to revive the casualty; others were reported to have begun to summon the emergency services on their mobile phones.

Others revealed that they had come across similar, real-life scenes while driving. One motorist related how he helped revive an unconscious cyclist whom he had discovered by the roadside with a wound to his head.

While nine drivers stopped and five others subsequently told police what they had seen, that still leaves 172 vehicles – more than nine in ten of the ones that passed by – whose occupants did nothing.

According to a local traffic official, the “Don't Look the Other Way!” campaign has been devised due to the road carrying a large volume of lorries, and the danger to cyclists posed by that being “unfortunately pretty high.”

17 user comments

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So 10% of car drivers in Belarus took action (either directly or indirectly). I'm quite touched by that! 10% of people in Belarus have a social conscience. Well done!

Now lets repeat that experiment here. Devil

posted by levermonkey [368 posts]
18th March 2014 - 18:56

11 Likes

levermonkey wrote:
Now lets repeat that experiment here. Devil

Yeah - just don't expect a 10% response

On the other hand, on several occasions I've stopped to ensure a stranded motorist has been able to call for help - not much I know, but anything to avoid the 'two-tribes' mentality

posted by mad_scot_rider [548 posts]
18th March 2014 - 19:06

9 Likes

Meanwhile down in SW London where I ride...

I had a puncture a few weeks ago, a stunningly loud one where the tube ripped open and made a few pedestrians jump.

A few minutes later whilst I was sat on the pavement swapping tubes a car pulled up and the driver got out. He then explained that he'd heard the bang, and drove around the one way system to come back to see whether I needed any help!

Once you get away from the madness of rush hour and school run traffic, there are still lots of good generous people out there.

posted by bikebot [547 posts]
18th March 2014 - 20:13

16 Likes

mattsccm wrote:
Not saying it would or wouldn't be the case here but I wonder how many were afraid to stop in case it was a con?

True, i guess that is why some drove on then called, but then again, some may see, drive on believing it a trap so don't call.

There will always be a group who don't give a ****... hopefully a small group.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1108 posts]
18th March 2014 - 20:18

32 Likes

Not saying it would or wouldn't be the case here but I wonder how many were afraid to stop in case it was a con?

posted by mattsccm [259 posts]
18th March 2014 - 20:19

21 Likes

I was sitting by the road up from Meltham with cramp in both legs. Two people stopped to ask if I was ok. That was at least 10%. I was sitting up so didn't look particularly desperate although me vigorously rubbing my legs might have put quite a few people off...

pete

posted by pete_247 [1 posts]
18th March 2014 - 20:48

24 Likes

Meltham? Shudder. Did one of them tell you that you had 'a real purdy mouth'?

posted by andyp [893 posts]
18th March 2014 - 20:57

8 Likes

.

posted by andyp [893 posts]
18th March 2014 - 21:01

17 Likes

In May 2012 I was heading into Central London via Streatham when a car turned in front of me as I was heading up the bus lane (thanks to a "kind" lorry driver in the stationary traffic to my right flicking him through). So I went over his bonnet, bike stayed behind, bits of skin etc. all over his car thanks to my leg catching on the left front wheel arch.

The driver of the car stopped. 6 pedestrians stopped. I was offered medical assistance. 3 people called emergency services. One person took my bike and locked it to a lamp post with the lock in my bag. He put my Garmin into my backpack. Someone parked his car in the bus lane to stop the traffic and force it into the main carriageway (and therefore not run over me). Two ambulances came - one in passing (with a patient already in it) and another that was called out. Two police cars, 4 policemen. 4 witnesses gave me their details. The driver of the car contacted me afterwards to check how I got on in the hospital.

I doubt that was 10%, but assume that when people see others helping they continue to drive past unless the have specific skills (for example a doctor).

That day restored some of my faith in people. And I cycle a bit slower through that section these days!

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [95 posts]
18th March 2014 - 21:13

14 Likes

I wouldn't feel too offended by drivers not stopping when they ought to (and I thought required by law?) just because you're on a bike.

Several years ago I witnessed a smash between a lorry and a couple of cars on a roundabout. Of the 30 or 40 vehicles that came across that accident, only three or four of us stopped to help. Several of those who carried on going must have witnessed what happened, but they did nothing. Not only that, several of them had to have driven through the carnage to get away.

So perhaps those who do nothing, hopefully not 90% of drivers, are just a bunch of selfish pricks who wouldn't help anyone else anyway.
Cheers.

posted by Mick Davidson [7 posts]
18th March 2014 - 22:00

16 Likes

I had a comedy moment once when my chain snapped, during an out-of-saddle full gas steep hill blast. Balls meet stem, face meets ground, rider lies in foetal position whimpering. Bike in road, blood on tarmac, lycra disappeared in a puff of...whatever lycra turns into when it meets road.

Through the throbbing grey vastness of the pain I was dimly aware of footsteps. I opened my eyes to see four walkers striding past.

They greeted me with a cheerful 'Morning!' and carried on along their way.

Had to laugh, really, when I'd relocated the missing testicle from beside my spleen.

posted by andyp [893 posts]
19th March 2014 - 9:26

23 Likes

WHAT!? you mean the police in Belarus are actually looking out for cyclists?

Here all cyclists get is £50 tickets....

posted by P3t3 [50 posts]
19th March 2014 - 10:50

15 Likes

bikebot wrote:

Once you get away from the madness of rush hour and school run traffic, there are still lots of good generous people out there.

Couldn't agree more. I'm pretty happy that, when push comes to shove (pardon the expression) a decent percentage of people round my way would stop to help a cyclist lying bleeding in the road.

Probably depends which party of the country you live in though.

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [126 posts]
19th March 2014 - 13:41

19 Likes

I've never been to Belarus, but when I am away from home, I am weary of stopping anywhere. You would assess it at the time and decide. If someone had already stopped, I would probably drive by then phone. It has been know that people have pretented to be injured at the side of the road in South Africa, then the good Samaritan gets mugged when they stop.

Comrade's picture

posted by Comrade [148 posts]
19th March 2014 - 13:57

17 Likes

It seems a little silly that the police see the need to conduct a rather outrageous stunt to prove the social science phenomenom of the "Bystander Effect" is valid.

I'm not at all surprised, and I fully would expect these same results ANYWHERE.

Introductory Psych textbooks almost always note one of the most shocking (and completely real and brutal) examples of this phenomenom in the NYC sexual assault and murder of Kitty Genovese.

I hope their campaign to encourage people to stop, report, and help is successful, but the stunt should serve as a reminder to all of us that we are more likely to fail to stop, report, or help in such a situation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [222 posts]
19th March 2014 - 14:21

13 Likes

andyp wrote:
I had a comedy moment once when my chain snapped, during an out-of-saddle full gas steep hill blast. Balls meet stem, face meets ground, rider lies in foetal position whimpering. Bike in road, blood on tarmac, lycra disappeared in a puff of...whatever lycra turns into when it meets road.

I had a similar experience when overtaking a stationary bus in the bus lane, out of the saddle blast into a gap in normal traffic when the crank arm snapped on my right side. My right side's body weight shot forwards which caused me to steer left straight into the side of the bus. Crying Walloped my balls on the top bar, front wheel buckled and cuts and scrapes on my legs.

Alot of people came over though to check I was ok including the bus driver, mind you this was Bristol in rush hour not a country road.

posted by sam_smith [49 posts]
19th March 2014 - 17:04

15 Likes

When I came off my bike in Hackney, i was impressed when 5 people came straight to my aid. London is not New York Smile

posted by kie7077 [476 posts]
20th March 2014 - 17:05

10 Likes