Video: Scotland’s Nice Way Code ads go live

“If you jump a red light you give all cyclists a bad name”

by John Stevenson   August 5, 2013  

NiceWayCode Treat Cyclist As Horse

The TV ads for Scotland’s Nice Way Code road safety awareness campaign broke cover this morning and... well, see for yourself.

There are two ads. ‘Nice Way Code Name’ shows a rider running a red light, and then cuts to Monty Pythonesque gag, while 'Nice Way Code Think Horse' says you should treat a cyclists as you’d treat a horse.

Here, they are. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Nice Way Code Name

Nice Way Code Think Horse

The Nice Way Code campaign was announced last week, but will be officially launched today. The £500,000 campaign aims to improve road safety by asking road users to all just get along and be lovely to each other. 

Scottish cycling campaign group Pedal on Parliament was not impressed. According to Pedal on Parliament, research shows that the most effective means to reduce road deaths are changes to the road environment and lower speeds. Education campaigns, especially where not backed up by visible enforcement, do very little.

In response to the group's criticism, a Scottish government spokesman said: “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and we make no apology for raising awareness of this issue or for seeking to improve behaviour."

54 user comments

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how about spending the 0.5million on Scottish public starter projects related to cycling safety, i dunno, say for example nice bright warning signs where local commuters feel in danger, not trying to be specific, but something that has a much more local effect on the roads being used for cycling frequently.

posted by a_to_the_j [73 posts]
5th August 2013 - 13:17

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Bez's picture

posted by Bez [369 posts]
5th August 2013 - 13:50

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Quote:
I also wish they had a constructive alternative.

Introduce strict liability. That would be a concrete change that would improve road safety for everyone (not just cyclists).

Just looked up the UK Road Accident stats for 2011:
Contributory factors: Vehicles in reported accidents by vehicle type:
Disobeyed automatic traffic signal
Pedal Cycles - 196
Cars - 1,786

Nine times as many cars as cycles causing accidents by jumping traffic lights? That just makes all car drives look bad, doesn't it? Someone should start a campaign...

posted by kcr [61 posts]
5th August 2013 - 14:24

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I quite liked both ads. The problem I have is with this slavish pursuit of some fallacious idea of even-handedness.

Cyclists jump red lights, that annoys people. Motorists don't give cyclists enough space, that kills people. If you're looking for maximum return on investment, it makes no sense to spend equal amounts of time, effort and money on reducing these two misdemeanours.

Yes, cyclists jumping red lights makes people less likely to respect other cyclists, therefore potentially endangering the law-abiding. I buy that. I can see the psychology. But stopping them doing it can't be the most cost-effective way of improving cycle safety.

Noli porcum linguere

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posted by captain_slog [263 posts]
5th August 2013 - 14:33

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Oh Jeez, what is it with people. You seem to act like some cycling tribe where everyone is either trying to kill you, waste 'your' cycling money or stereotype you.

You have to start seeing it half way if you want people onside. Ignoring, belittling or just dismissing others is counter productive. In this case the effort of showing a middle ground - that law abiding cyclists don't want to be tarred by the same brush as those who aren't...the corollary is that those who break the law think about how they affect others, and that narrow minded road users realise that all cyclists are not the same.

This largely treats cyclists in a positive light. £500,000 is a lot of money, I have no idea how much advertising costs, but I'm assuming its a going rate SET ASIDE FOR ADVERTISEMENT. If you don't like it then what else would you like to advertise?

The question over the cost is a different matter. As someone else has already said the money could go towards cycle lanes, cycle lanes which require upkeep, cycle lanes that I don't generally use because they're generally filled with road detritus. Cycle lanes I'm not fond of. I would rather have a solution which benefits all road users within the infrastructure limitations. I see road user education the main way to do this. We're not going to rip up our current roads and build new ones anytime soon, people are not going to melt down their cars and buy bicycles in a hurry. Live with, and abide with it.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1087 posts]
5th August 2013 - 15:44

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kcr wrote:
Quote:
I also wish they had a constructive alternative.

Introduce strict liability. That would be a concrete change that would improve road safety for everyone (not just cyclists).

Just looked up the UK Road Accident stats for 2011:
Contributory factors: Vehicles in reported accidents by vehicle type:
Disobeyed automatic traffic signal
Pedal Cycles - 196
Cars - 1,786

Nine times as many cars as cycles causing accidents by jumping traffic lights? That just makes all car drives look bad, doesn't it? Someone should start a campaign...

There are probably nine times as many car journeys as cycle journeys....so it is not so easy as that. Someone should start an ad campaign to help people understand statistics....

But seriously does it not annoy you to see people buzzing through on reds? The problem is that it sort of builds so that one person breaks the light and it encourages others to do so....then it becomes the norm. It winds up motorists whom rightly think why am I stuck at a red, and that cyclists disrespect the road laws....I see as many people here demonise truck and car drivers on here in the same way that they fear being tarred with the same brush by the media. I think we are better off seeking understanding.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1087 posts]
5th August 2013 - 15:59

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
SET ASIDE FOR ADVERTISEMENT. If you don't like it then what else would you like to advertise?

don't want to advertise anything. just get on with building better infrastructure to make cyclists safer in cities. this money is from the Road Safety & Sustainable Transport budget. it's not some special advertising money that has to be spent on videos. it could be spent on improving a road junction.

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
The question over the cost is a different matter. As someone else has already said the money could go towards cycle lanes, cycle lanes which require upkeep, cycle lanes that I don't generally use because they're generally filled with road detritus. Cycle lanes I'm not fond of. I would rather have a solution which benefits all road users within the infrastructure limitations. I see road user education the main way to do this. We're not going to rip up our current roads and build new ones anytime soon, people are not going to melt down their cars and buy bicycles in a hurry. Live with, and abide with it.

good infrastructure benefits all road users. that's the clear and unequivocal message from just across the north sea. the 'infrastructure limitations' ARE the problem. you can't educate it away.

people aren't going to choose to cycle until choosing to cycle is the natural choice based on the fact that it's the easiest way to make a journey. again, that's the clear and unequivocal message from just across the north sea. it requires the 'ripping up' of roads. i shan't be losing sight of that, thanks.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7256 posts]
5th August 2013 - 16:05

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Cycle lanes I'm not fond of. I would rather have a solution which benefits all road users within the infrastructure limitations.

Let me guess: you're male, an experienced cyclist, physically fit and eminently capable of accelerating to around 20mph within a hundred yards, you have no significant physical disablement or condition which affects your ability to ride at speed, and you don't have children who enjoy cycling.

Maybe a short dose of Other People's Shoes would be in order?

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [369 posts]
5th August 2013 - 16:41

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Data point: In Glasgow city, by my observations, most red lights that are jumped are jumped by motorists - by FAR.

If you weight red light jumping by kinetic energy of those involved, motor vehicles outweigh cyclists in red light jumping by at least an order of magnitude.

Studies in London and elsewhere show that, per cyclist, red-light compliance is quite high. There's no reason to think they're any worse than motorists, opportunity per opportunity.

If you're going to have ads to tell people to stop at lights, having those ads just single out cyclists is simply pandering to false, negative stereotypes, and flies in the face of the reality of who's actually doing the red light jumping.

Of course, cyclists *should* stop at red lights - how fucking hard is it just to dismount and push your bike like a pedestrian - legally - if you can't wait? That still doesn't make one responsible for another though.

posted by Paul J [561 posts]
5th August 2013 - 16:52

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Bring back August Althrop Wintrhop (or is Windsock?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4suF8aa4Yv4&list=FLuTuZD6mp09HkySPD9YTd-Q...

at about 5:50

Big Grin
And while we're at it Get Yourself Seen!

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/films/1964to1979/filmpage_pedal.htm

posted by spen [77 posts]
5th August 2013 - 19:02

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But Dave, how do you propose to pay for it all?

If Councils can't be arsed to sweep a cycle lane, why would they ever dream up a really expensive solution? Besides, ripping up the roads will take forever.

In the meantime a real world solution is to make people better cyclists, and all road users more tolerant of each other.

And in the meantime if I want a puncture, or I want to fall off my bike when it rains, or be marginalised as a road user I'll use one of those gaudy blue bike lanes.....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1087 posts]
6th August 2013 - 1:37

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
a real world solution is to make people better cyclists

You could be the "best" (whatever that means) cyclist in the world and be mown down from behind by someone on the phone or rummaging in the footwell for a CD or with the sun in their eyes or arguing with their passenger.

posted by David Portland [88 posts]
6th August 2013 - 10:21

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It's obviously not possible in the current economic climate to spend what's necessary to provide bike lanes everywhere that they should be, but I think introducing the same rule as in France that when overtaking motorists MUST give cyclists a wide berth of a minimum of 1 metre in towns, and 1m50 out of town, might help reduce the daily "harmless" brushing aside that we suffer.
I ride often in France, and it works. Normally the only transgressors (or the vast majority) are those with GB plates on the car !

Enjoy

posted by cisgil23 [45 posts]
6th August 2013 - 11:21

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The problem with this collective responsibility nonsense is that it enables diversion from the real problem, ie there are too many road users out there below requisite standards.
For example, this morning on my morning commute, after been cut up for the third time by one particular London cabbie (very deliberately forcing me into the kerb) and finally getting p1ssed off enough to remonstrate with him, I ask what on earth he thinks he's doing when I am trying to safely and sensibly make my way along the road. His response, "maked a change dun't it". So there we have it, as a result of being collectively responsible for the actions of people I have never met, let alone spoken to, it is open season for a cabbie to carve up the next cyclist as a result.
This campaign is just cobblers. People who can't abide by the highway code need to be fined into compliance or off the road not turned into "nice".

posted by arfa [449 posts]
6th August 2013 - 11:37

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David Portland wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
a real world solution is to make people better cyclists

You could be the "best" (whatever that means) cyclist in the world and be mown down from behind by someone on the phone or rummaging in the footwell for a CD or with the sun in their eyes or arguing with their passenger.


Quite. Just look to the incident Wiggins had. Or any number of tales from pros nearly mown down whilst training in Britain.

posted by Al__S [494 posts]
6th August 2013 - 11:54

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arfa wrote:
The problem with this collective responsibility nonsense is that it enables diversion from the real problem, ie there are too many road users out there below requisite standards.
For example, this morning on my morning commute, after been cut up for the third time by one particular London cabbie (very deliberately forcing me into the kerb) and finally getting p1ssed off enough to remonstrate with him, I ask what on earth he thinks he's doing when I am trying to safely and sensibly make my way along the road. His response, "maked a change dun't it". So there we have it, as a result of being collectively responsible for the actions of people I have never met, let alone spoken to, it is open season for a cabbie to carve up the next cyclist as a result.
This campaign is just cobblers. People who can't abide by the highway code need to be fined into compliance or off the road not turned into "nice".

Well how about the three idiots that undertook my bus this morning while it was trying to disgorge it's passengers. I could hear the bus indicating, but instead of slowing and moving around the bus, they continued down the left-hand side. The bus was forced to a stop. You can see why public transport operators get annoyed....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1087 posts]
6th August 2013 - 13:19

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
arfa wrote:
The problem with this collective responsibility nonsense is that it enables diversion from the real problem, ie there are too many road users out there below requisite standards.
For example, this morning on my morning commute, after been cut up for the third time by one particular London cabbie (very deliberately forcing me into the kerb) and finally getting p1ssed off enough to remonstrate with him, I ask what on earth he thinks he's doing when I am trying to safely and sensibly make my way along the road. His response, "maked a change dun't it". So there we have it, as a result of being collectively responsible for the actions of people I have never met, let alone spoken to, it is open season for a cabbie to carve up the next cyclist as a result.
This campaign is just cobblers. People who can't abide by the highway code need to be fined into compliance or off the road not turned into "nice".

Well how about the three idiots that undertook my bus this morning while it was trying to disgorge it's passengers. I could hear the bus indicating, but instead of slowing and moving around the bus, they continued down the left-hand side. The bus was forced to a stop. You can see why public transport operators get annoyed....

Colin, you have illustrated my point. What do those 3 idiots have to do with any other cyclists who are obeying the law ? They are not a justification for anger towards another person who happens to choose the same mode of transport
There is no difference between this sort of logic than that of a racist who can only group individuals by their ethnicity. Sorry but the prevalence of prejudice towards cyclists needs to be turned around and not justified in any form

posted by arfa [449 posts]
6th August 2013 - 13:44

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Quote:
There are probably nine times as many car journeys as cycle journeys....so it is not so easy as that. Someone should start an ad campaign to help people understand statistics....

Of course there are more car journeys. I don't think it makes sense to target cyclists jumping lights just because they have a higher accident rate per journey. I think you need to reduce the absolute number of accidents, and you should concentrate on the group involved in 90% of all the traffic light cases. As a side effect, I bet you would also make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians if you targeted the sort of behaviour that results in motorists jumping lights.

From personal experience, I agree with the comment above about motorists being the worst offenders. I used to cross a junction on my commute where I could guarantee to see at least one or two cars drive clean through a red light, every morning, as I waited for the lights to change.

posted by kcr [61 posts]
6th August 2013 - 15:33

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Well, that's road safety solved for once and for all then: just ask everyone to behave nicely.

There's a flaw there somewhere, but I just can't spot it. Can anyone help?

burtthebike

posted by burtthebike [67 posts]
6th August 2013 - 18:32

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All good stuff and the people who quote the cost really don't understand government finance. £500k may be a lot to you or I but in the bigger scheme, it's not that big a price for some TV ads. If it makes a few behave differently, then it's worth it. It also shows Scotland's commitment to cycling - surely a good thing.

MikeF

posted by msfergus [16 posts]
6th August 2013 - 18:41

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Disappointed with all the negative feedback in here.

I enjoyed these ads. They raise the profile of cyclists in an humerous, easy to understand way. How can this not be positive?

I live and ride in an area with lots of horse riders and cyclists on the country roads and I find it frustrating that I've never seen a motorist blast past, shout at or endanger a horse & rider, but the same level of respect is mostly not afforded for cyclists.

On my 25 mile per day commute I not only am endangered on a daily basis but have been rammed, shouted at and run off the road by car drivers. So any positive advertising is welcome.

posted by vinnn [39 posts]
6th August 2013 - 19:40

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arfa wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
arfa wrote:
The problem with this collective responsibility nonsense is that it enables diversion from the real problem, ie there are too many road users out there below requisite standards.
For example, this morning on my morning commute, after been cut up for the third time by one particular London cabbie (very deliberately forcing me into the kerb) and finally getting p1ssed off enough to remonstrate with him, I ask what on earth he thinks he's doing when I am trying to safely and sensibly make my way along the road. His response, "maked a change dun't it". So there we have it, as a result of being collectively responsible for the actions of people I have never met, let alone spoken to, it is open season for a cabbie to carve up the next cyclist as a result.
This campaign is just cobblers. People who can't abide by the highway code need to be fined into compliance or off the road not turned into "nice".

Well how about the three idiots that undertook my bus this morning while it was trying to disgorge it's passengers. I could hear the bus indicating, but instead of slowing and moving around the bus, they continued down the left-hand side. The bus was forced to a stop. You can see why public transport operators get annoyed....

Colin, you have illustrated my point. What do those 3 idiots have to do with any other cyclists who are obeying the law ? They are not a justification for anger towards another person who happens to choose the same mode of transport
There is no difference between this sort of logic than that of a racist who can only group individuals by their ethnicity. Sorry but the prevalence of prejudice towards cyclists needs to be turned around and not justified in any form

Hmmm, I disagree with your collective responsibility point. If one person breaks a red light it encourages others to do so. Same thing happened with the bus. No one could be bothered to break, even though it was their safety at stake. I'm sure if the first person had slowed then the ones behind would have manoeuvred round the bus.

I think a certain amount is compliance, some training and education. I don't think you'll change people's opinions with the likes of Critical Mass, I don't think slapping on taxis and other cars because you think they are too close will make them respect cyclists, but a more nuanced approach like these adverts might.

It is a form of bigotry, but you'll not get people onside by jamming up the roads, protesting like hooligans and generally holding an equally intolerant view point of motorists. Some are very respectful of cyclists, but you only ever hear about the bad ones here. I'm a cyclist and a driver and I see both sides. I see how, in London, the standard of road cycling is abysmal and I see how that irritates pedestrians and motorists alike. Time we started looking at ourselves for our behaviours and skill sets as cyclists as much as what motorists are doing.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1087 posts]
6th August 2013 - 22:54

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Following your logic then Colin, do you think the cab driver was justified in forcing me into the curb because he bears a grudge towards some cyclists who have jumped lights ?
Believe it or not I am a cyclist and car driver and accept that it is a minority on both sides who are the problem. However extending your logic I would be perfectly justified in forcing any old car off the road and flaming them because I saw another car driver using his mobile phone. I am sorry but this is just nonsense and the longer the poor behaviour of a minority of road users is used to detract from the real issue, that there are too many badly driven vehicles on the road, the more needless deaths and injuries will continue to be inflicted on our roads.

posted by arfa [449 posts]
7th August 2013 - 8:42

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arfa wrote:
However extending your logic I would be perfectly justified in forcing any old car off the road and flaming them because I saw another car driver using his mobile phone.

No that is clearly not what Colin is saying. Such actions would make you as bad as the people who chastise all cyclists for the actions of the minority (though I would argue in London a significant minority). I totally agree with colin's sentiments, the issue is a mutual lack of respect for each other on the road. Though I agree it is totally wrong to view all members of a group as liable for commiting the crimes of the minority, sadly it seems to be human nature to do so. For example, if I asked for people's views on journalists, politicians or bankers, I am sure they would be scewed by the actions of a minority. When cyclists break the law, it tars all of us with the same name. The campaign is trying to address a serious problem in a balanced way which I commend. Descending into tribalism does no one any favours and just perpetuates the problems.

posted by Chris Hewitt [2 posts]
7th August 2013 - 9:03

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I for one would never advocate using the actions of a minority to justify action against the majority, it's called discrimination plain and simple and I encounter it every single day that I choose to commute by bike in London. What I struggle to tolerate is bigots who are prepared to endanger my life because of their prejudices. For the record, my exchange took place at the lights after I asked said taxi driver why he had endangered me with 3 major highway code breaches in 1/2 a mile. Being "nice" doesn't come into it. Respecting the highway code does and the only thing that changes behaviour is fines. Funny how there has been a marked improvement in ASL compliance now that fines are in place in London.
For the record I am not in favour of critical mass or provocative action/conflict. The problem is that the law needs to emphasise that driving is a privilege that can and should be more frequently taken away from those that ignore minimum standards.

posted by arfa [449 posts]
7th August 2013 - 10:13

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Arfa, totally agree that the individual you describe is a danger and needs to be taken off the road. There is no excuse for that sort of action. I also agree with the point you make about those unable to meet minimum standards should be removed, but this must also apply to cyclists that fall into that category too. Only the other day, I pulled up at a zebra crossing as a pedestrian was walking across and a fellow cyclist behind blitzed thorough at 20mph plus and came within a foot of hitting the pedestrian who had to get out of the way. That sort of action, in my mind, is reckless,totally unacceptable and that individual needs removing and/or educating.

It seems too often to me that whenever a debate opens up about road safety, the cycling community (i am concious I am grouping us all together again) paints itself as blameless (not pointing the finger at you specifically, I am refering to the whole). Sadly, it is not. Likewise, the motorist community often takes a similar stance, just pushing all the blame on to cyclists which is also totally unjustified.When both sides take such opposed stances, any debate breaks down and we come back to the status quo that we find ourselves. The only way forward, in my mind, is for all to start showing each other, and the rules, more respect, whatever mode of transport they choose to use and punishing those that don't. I admit though that my thoughts may be somewhat utopianist on this matter.

posted by Chris Hewitt [2 posts]
7th August 2013 - 12:41

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I was in Italy recently and observed that drivers are pretty intolerant of other drivers but equally tolerant of cyclists (and scooters). There were few road concessions to cyclists and many incidences of 'bad' cycling (and driving) but everyone got on and shared the road.
How can we educate drivers to respect individuals right to use the road? I am not a fan of cycle lanes unless it is done properly (as in Holland). The peek a boo cycle lanes we have here (East Dunbartonshire) are dangerous forcing the cyclist back into the traffic at inopportune and unexpected locations. A waste of money.
This campaign seems well intentioned and imho should not make things any worse. Plain Face

Felix

Felix's picture

posted by Felix [108 posts]
7th August 2013 - 15:50

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Quote:
This campaign seems well intentioned and imho should not make things any worse.

Latest from Nice Way Code on the back of Lothian Buses:

Don't use that bike lane on the left of this bus.
Are you really thinking of passing on the right? OK, "If you must"

posted by kcr [61 posts]
8th August 2013 - 16:01

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This is a very good analysis from an advertising man as to why the campaign is not well thought out.
http://jake-bate.tumblr.com/post/57706381066/the-niceway-code-a-failure-...

posted by arfa [449 posts]
9th August 2013 - 8:55

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I came behind a bus with this advertising on the back today as well. I wanted to filter to the left up the cycle lane, but didn't, because I thought the driver behind me would think I'm an asshole. This is not a well thought out campaign.

The glass is 50% capacity.

posted by mrfree [33 posts]
10th August 2013 - 22:58

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