If you’ve ever stopped for a mid-ride cuppa and slice of cake and wondered whether anyone’s bothered counting all those drivers going past the café, mobile phone clamped to their ear, now’s your chance, with the AA inviting the public to take part in a survey on others’ driving habits at junctions.
As part of its Streetwatch survey, the AA requires volunteers prepared to give up an hour of their time to observe traffic at a junction close to their home and note details of issues such as drivers using mobile phones, non-wearing of seatbelts, use of indicators, functioning brake lights and observance of traffic signals, if applicable.
Full details of what is required can be found here, and results of your observations can be uploaded online with Populus, the AA’s partners in the survey. In taking part in the survey, the AA says that you will be assisting it with its campaigning and research, and there will also be a prize draw for participants, with a first prize of £500, a runners-up prize of a Virgin Ferrari Thrill Experience and a third prize of £100.
Earlier this month, the AA came in for some criticism from organisations such as CTC after distributing free cycle helmets and hi-viz tabards to cyclists in London.
With most adult cyclists also being motorists, however, and if various pieces of research are to be believed, have access to more cars than in the average household, initiatives such as this survey that may help make conditions on the road safer for all of us are a positive step.
The cycle trade-focused website BikeBiz points out that there's a certain irony in the AA employing members of the public, including presumably many cyclists, to assess how many drivers are breaking laws covering issues such as speeding; when it was founded in 1905, the organisation used cyclists to spot speed traps and warn motorists of them, as highlighted on Carlton Reid's website, Quickrelease.TV.
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.