Bicycle NSW creates and shares content on road safety topics, but sometimes social media comment goes ‘off the rails’.
Part of our mission to ‘create a better environment for all bike riders’ includes improving road safety and road sharing. We do this by creating and sharing content that:
- informs road users of the law – especially if this relates to bike riding in NSW
- raises awareness of bike rider behaviour that other road users may not understand
- teaches all road users techniques and behaviour to help improve safety and road sharing
- provides relevant education for beginners and young riders, as well as confident adults
We allow comment on our social media feeds, taking the opportunity to educate and inform where necessary, and we remove content that contravenes our social media standards. Some people use this as an opportunity to post aggressive messages and to advocate harming others.
This also happens on road safety, police, mainstream media newsfeeds and in social media groups. Children and young people are heavy social media users and this online behavior can shape their attitudes on the road and behind the wheel.
“Parents work hard to teach children how to stay safe on the road as a pedestrian, riding a bike and driving a car. They also entrust their child’s safety to the care of other road users,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
An American study of anger and aggressive driving by Jerry Deffenbacher, PhD, of Colorado State University showed that high anger drivers:
- Engaged in more in hostile, aggressive thinking, and thought more often about revenge or physical harm
- Take more risks on the road, such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights or rapidly switching lanes
- Had twice as many car accidents in driving simulations, reported more near-misses and received more speeding fines
“It makes no sense to undermine road safety by encouraging aggression towards any road user. Angry behavior on the road endangers the driver and everyone around them,” said Bastien.
This Road Safety Week, Bicycle NSW encourages all road users to play their part in ensuring we all arrive home safely.