Denmark does a lot to prevent accidents involving trucks and cyclists. Still, 2016 set a tragic record as seven cyclists were killed by right-turning trucks. This is a significant increase compared to previous years. So, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation focusses on the problem with a new bus campaign.
Despite preventive efforts, seven cyclists died in right-turn accidents in 2016. Even though the number of killed cyclists in this type of accident has decreased over the years, according to the transport authorities, right-turn accidents still represent 15-20% of all fatal accidents involving cyclists over the last ten years.
Collaboration to prevent right-turn accidents
As part of a preventive effort, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation and the advertising agency DDB have sent a bus on the street with a reminder to cyclists to take care of themselves. In the month of February, a Copenhagen bus will be driving around with a large 3D poster with the text “Beware of right turns.” As an optical illusion, the text “sticks out” on the bicycle path when cyclists are behind the bus.
Campaign is not going to solve the problem
The bus campaign is an original and sensational way of reminding cyclists about the serious right-turn accidents – but the campaign is part of the Danish Cyclists’ Federations greater work to prevent accidents, says CEO of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation, Klaus Bondam:
“It is deeply tragic whenever a person loses their life in traffic accidents. That is why prevention of right-turn accidents is one of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation’s important focus areas. We have meetings with authorities and transport organizations such as the Association for the Danish Road Transport of Goods, ITD, among others who we have a close collaboration with about information and campaigns. A bus campaign is not going to solve the problem. But it is an efficient way to get the message out – and increased vigilance is part of the solution.”
For many years, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation has fought to decrease the number of victims in right-turn accidents – for instance by being a member of the transport authority’s right-turn accident group where transport organizations, authorities, and experts jointly work to find solutions. They also cooperate with ITD who, among other things, is responsible for a campaign about traffic safety for pupils in primary school.
“To be focused helps save lives, and we are very aware of that. It is important to have focus on all the small things when you drive a car such as making sure car windows are clean, and side mirrors are set correctly, so the driver’s vision is optimal while driving. Even the smallest details can make a difference,” says ITD’s representative of the right-turn accident group, Senior Consultant at ITD, Jørn-Henrik Carstens.