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Transport for London launch new cycle awareness vids

Do the test campaign ramped up with murder mystery


A murder mystery video is the latest weapon to be deployed in Transport for London's Do the Test, cycle safety campaign.

Viewers get to watch a traditional whodunnit solved in double quick time and are then asked if they spotted the 21 changes that took place during the course of the film. The answer when the keen eyed observers here at watched it was… no. Slightly embarrassing considering one of the changes is a very obvious (once you've had it shown to you) switch of corpses.

The point of the film is to demonstrate to road users the need to be constantly aware of what is happening around them as well as directly in front of them. Earlier this year TfL deployed a group of basketball players and a moon-walking bear to make the same point in the first of their Do the Test films. 

Only a tiny fraction of all the information going into your brain enters your consciousness, this  phenomenon is called change blindness and it is what the films use to make their point. People often fail to see a change in their surroundings because their attention is elsewhere.

Even stranger, if you are concentrating on something, you can become blind to other events that you would normally notice. This "inattention blindness" has been suggested as a reason why motorists collide with cyclists.

The message for all road users is the need to be aware of other road users and what's going on around you, and to make sure they are aware of you.

Given the film's demonstration of change and inattention blindness to your surroundings, particularly in stressful situations for cyclists "making other road users aware of you" probably means that making eye contact, is still simplest and surest way of ensuring you've registered your presence in other road users' consciousness. Mind you, that's not so easy at night.

You can catch all the new videos on TfL's Do the test website, or simply scroll down…

Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.

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