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.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.