Magnetic stickers deliver "Yellow Card" message to drivers from cyclists

Artist's concept seeks to foster understanding, but could it inflame already tense situation?

by Simon_MacMichael   December 20, 2010  

Yellow Card.jpg

An American artist has devised a magnetic sticker that can be used by cyclists to alert drivers to the fact that their driving might be putting cyclists at risk, although going by the comments on one website, opinion is divided about whether they might in fact make matters worse.

Peter Miller, who according to his website studied in Chicago and now lives and works in Cologne, describes the yellow cards, which come with a magnetic backing, as a “subversive intervention via business card-sized magnets, personal edition of 200.”

He has made the project open source, meaning that anyone can use the design and wording – it can be downloaded as a PDF here – although of course you’d have to find your own supplier to make up the magnetic card itself.

“This magnet was tossed onto your car by a cyclist who felt that you might have been driving in a way that could have endangered their life.

“They chose to toss this magnetic note because it can neither damage your automobile, nor affix itself to rubber and glass and will therefore not affect your driving. It serves to warn you.

“With thoughtful reverence and contemplation for humanity, we can adjust our behaviour to allow for all people to live life.

“This is a yellow card, let’s please not let things get to Red.”

Some, however, wonder whether the cards might send out the wrong message, if the comments on the blog Boing Boing are anything to go by. While the cards are meant as an alternative to say taking a D-lock to the errant driver’s windscreen, several commenters maintain that slapping a magnet on a car could inflame an already tense situation, although most comments fall very much into the anti-cyclist camp.
 

9 user comments

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I have a feeling that anything that touches their beloved metal box will be seen as inflammatory, and probably in their head gives them a right to land a right hook on your head.

I don't think you could do it in a subtle manner, as it's sure to land with a distinctive thud when it hits their car.

I can't say I'll be doing it any time soon....

Chutzpah's picture

posted by Chutzpah [67 posts]
20th December 2010 - 13:49

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Red Rag -> Bull

Will be felt to be as aggressive as a good hand-slap or fist-bang - plus is adds sanctimonious tone. I wouldn't go near this. Helmet Cam + Police only real option and even then we know that's difficult!

A

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posted by alotronic [255 posts]
20th December 2010 - 13:53

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Cyclists and motorists have to come together, as do all road users.

Sure, ideas of this type will send a message but it will only anger the receiver. It will anger the receiver in two ways - by having this thing stuck to their vehicle as well as the way it's worded. One wonders what the warning is for and indeed why there's a threat of Red and what that might mean. Threats never work.

As everything has an equal and opposite reaction, one would wonder what may be returned not only to the distributor of the message but to any cyclist in the angry receiver's path at some juncture.

posted by 5339 [21 posts]
20th December 2010 - 15:22

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This'll work well. Won't piss anyone off. And sounds like it will be very effective in moderating motorists behaviour. The threat of a 'red card' should work wonders. I wonder why no one thought of trying this before? Thinking I wonder if Peter Miller has ever ridden a bike, or met another human being.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
20th December 2010 - 15:58

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maybe it should be worded a bit more like this? Smile

IMAG0174.jpg
Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7296 posts]
20th December 2010 - 16:41

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I initially quite liked the idea, though the wording is clearly not great. But in reality, I dont want to waste 20p (approx cost of a magnetic business card) on every loser who gives me cause for concern on the road. A wave and some shouting usually alerts them to the fact they have done something I dont like, and I dont really want it to go further than that, for the sake of everyone's safety. So, on reflection, it's a bit pointless...

posted by step-hent [669 posts]
20th December 2010 - 19:30

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Yes, nice idea in theory but it could work out very expensive in reality. Although a lot of the cars I'd want to give a yellow card to are traveling too fast and too close which would make getting the sticker on there a fairly tricky manouvere

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4134 posts]
21st December 2010 - 11:21

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The wording is clearly written by an American

It's not difficult to get your own made up however

See www.vistaprint.co.uk section on "magnets"

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posted by vorsprung [290 posts]
21st December 2010 - 11:24

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Chutzpah wrote:
I have a feeling that anything that touches their beloved metal box will be seen as inflammatory, and probably in their head gives them a right to land a right hook on your head.

Agree with this, and the comment about the sanctimonious tone. At best drivers would just dismiss the cyclist (and by extension all cyclists) as a twunt, at worst the cyclist might end up with a very angry driver in his face. Bad idea.

posted by Chuck [362 posts]
21st December 2010 - 13:02

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