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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.