Another Spring, Another Street Smart Campaign
Have a new Clarendon Cycles piece, here.
Not really a fan of the Street Smart campaign, and there are things we can do that are more effective over time.
Honestly, I can’t say that I think the Street Smart campaign contributes much to accomplishing those goals. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have some good points to make – I agree with all of the tips it gives pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
However, the Street Smart campaign suffers from two serious flaws that keep it from being effective – poor implementation on the street, and the fact that even when it’s done right, it’s much too short an effort.
What else works? For cyclists, I’d say self-policing can be far more effective than lectures from non-cyclists. I’m not suggesting wagging a finger at the fellow cyclist who rolls through an empty four-way stop. Rather, I’d ask that riders step up to make a conscious effort to set examples of good cyclist behavior.
More than once I’ve stopped at a light along Wilson Boulevard and had a cyclist – who had just rolled the previous light – stop next to me. Over time, that behavior gets normalized to the point that those who do roll the light will be minimized by the social pressure.
More at the link.
Good column and I think you're right about education on distracted driving. The study the other day about fatal accidents higher right around 4/15 and that rate being on part with Superbowl Sunday further leads me to the belief that the problem isn't based necessarily on the trait as much as it is the combination of factors stress/late night, late night/alcohol, etc. So the real education is just how dangerous a vehicle is and from our perspective that it's really not worth daring that danger. The 'text-walker' ads I saw in the Metro that were somehow tied to orange juice weren't actually a bad idea as they were a subtle reminder that things can happen to you while you're distracted.
I think a lot of the attitudinal change has to start in the schools, esp with high schoolers about to get their driver licenses. Similar to what has been done to change attitudes about drinking and driving and wearing seat belts. Got to get them while their young (plus they can embarass their parents into behaving better). I was shocked the other day when I saw some teenagers at a coffee shop go outside to take their phone calls; none of the adults were doing that.