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

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.
 

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.

9 comments

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Chutzpah [71 posts] 5 years ago
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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....

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alotronic [450 posts] 5 years ago
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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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5339 [21 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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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?  39 I wonder if Peter Miller has ever ridden a bike, or met another human being.

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dave atkinson [6201 posts] 5 years ago
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maybe it should be worded a bit more like this?  1

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step-hent [719 posts] 5 years ago
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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...

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 5 years ago
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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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vorsprung [279 posts] 5 years ago
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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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Chuck [530 posts] 5 years ago
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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.