New York employs shock tactics to get driver's (and cyclists') attention

New York safety campaign uses shock tactic to raise driver and cyclist awareness

by Tony Farrelly   June 24, 2009  

NYC Look Poster 1.jpg

New York City's Department of Transportation has released the first in a series of safety ads in a campaign called 'Look' aimed at cutting the number of preventable accidents on the cities streets involving cars and bikes. 

(Watch the TV ad below)

The campaign features posters and TV and radio ads. Like TFL's driver awareness campaign this one focuses on getting road users to be more in tune with their surroundings - the difference here is that the New York ad goes for a more hard hitting approach and future ads will also target cyclists' behaviour too both in relation to drivers and obeying the rules of the road and to cyclists' attitudes to pedestrians.

Here's what the New York City Department of Transportation has to say on the subject of its new campaign and why it sees the need for it.

"Bicycle safety is a serious issue. Over 3,000 cyclists are involved in a crash every year - from getting doored to actually crashing with the vehicle. Over two million New Yorkers have bikes, only a small portion bike to work.

Most of these collisions are caused by preventable behaviors of drivers and cyclists: aggression on the streets, not paying attention, taking risks, and disobeying traffic rules. We believe that there are no accidents, and that all collisions are preventable if we just look out for each other.

Its our goal to prevent these collisions by changing the behavior of both drivers and cyclists. To do so, we must educate both cyclists and drivers on the rules of the road. In addition to a huge effort to disseminate helpful information to cyclists and drivers, we are embarking on a media campaign that will infiltrate the City with a simple message to drivers and cyclists: Look"




6 user comments

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Simple but hopefully effective. How many times has a driver (often on a mobile phone) said to you "sorry but I didn't see you" ?
Awareness is everything

posted by SimpleSimon [116 posts]
24th June 2009 - 14:34



I think it is great that they are promoting my bike .... B)

Oh, it is a Look Smile

On a serious note, great to see this sort of promotion. Reminds me of the campign a few years back here in Australia which was, Look Right, Look Left, Look Bike. It was in relation to motorbikes but the same applies to bicycles of course.


Aushiker's picture

posted by Aushiker [6 posts]
25th June 2009 - 9:21


Yes here in the UK there is a lot of coverage given to a 'think bike' campaign which is wholly about motorcyclists, a similar campaign for cyclists would be useful

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
25th June 2009 - 10:02

1 Like

Looks like Banksy has been out customising their cycle lanes Smile An arresting campaign, but never underestimate some people's capacity to ignore the message behind striking images- I have a friend who smokes and is aiming to collect every different picture of diseased organs on the front of cigarette packets.

posted by wild man [295 posts]
25th June 2009 - 11:37


Some good ideas there.


posted by OldRidgeback [2586 posts]
26th June 2009 - 8:54


Good stuff, we need something like that here.

posted by grant [75 posts]
26th June 2009 - 12:50