Public Service Announcements
about Cycling in Traffic

Cycling advocates:  Use these messages (or write your own) to raise the awareness of transportation cycling.  Try to have them read on local radio stations, especially during "Traffic Reports".  You might enlist the support of your local planning organization (these typically are trying to reduce motor traffic) and try your state bicycle coordinator.

The goal behind these messages is to promote four ideas:  (1) Bicycles are legal vehicles that belong on the road; (2) Bicycle operators have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers; (3) Bicycles should be driven according to standard traffic laws; (4) Cycling is a safe, healthful and enjoyable way to commute to work.

Radio PSA's.  (Estimated time shown in parenthesis)

(0:10)
Share the road with bicycles.  Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road and follow the same rules as other drivers.  It is unsafe to ride on the wrong side and it is dangerous to ride on the sidewalk.  Share the road.

(0:10)
There is much more to driving a bicycle than balance and steering.  Many things we were taught as kids are wrong and some are dangerous.  If you want to learn more, check your library for the video Effective Cycling.

(0:10)
Ride a bike to work!  The safest way is by following traffic laws.  Cyclists who make up their own rules by riding on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks are five times as likely to crash.  Be predictable and act like the driver of a vehicle.

(0:15)
Share the road with bicycles.  A motorist passing a bicycle must wait until it is safe to pass, then give adequate clearance.  A cyclist should try to make it easy for a motorist to pass but only if it is safe.  When it is not safe to allow a car to pass, a cyclist should use the full lane.

(0:20)   (Use mid April to late May)
The third week of May is Bike to Work Week.  May is an excellent time to try this healthful, non-polluting way to travel.  Cycling is safe and enjoyable if you follow the rules of the road.  Cyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other drivers.  Drive your bike like the vehicle that it is and every week can be Bike to Work Week!
 

TV or Video PSA's.

Below are scripts for TV messages.  It will be more difficult to get these on the air than radio messages but the potential benefit is greater.  Try your Public TV station, strike up a relationship with a local TV producer or talk to the Journalism Dept. of a nearby college.

If you have any suggestions and especially, if you have a way to produce these PSA's, please contact  fredoswald_AT_yahoo.com.

We use a Javascript program to convert the email address shown above.  Since your browser does not accept Javascript, you need to replace "_AT_" with "@" to make the address work.

TV Cycling Public Service Announcement #1 (approx. 90 sec)

Script

Scene & Action

Biking to work is safe, enjoyable and good for both you and the community, IF you do it correctly.  You drive a bike much as you drive a car -- following the same rules of the road. Show cyclists in traffic riding correctly on road 
(changing lanes, making turns, etc.)
* Be predictable.  Look like you know what you are doing.
* Drive a bike on the right side of the road, never the left and not on the sidewalk.
* Ride a good straight "line"
* Yield the right of way and signal for lane changes.
* Stop for red lights and stop signs.
* Use lights at night
* Usually, you drive a bicycle near the side of the road to allow faster vehicles to pass.  However, if anything makes the right side unsafe for you or if cars pass too close, then ride further left.
Show cyclist in correct lane.

Show proper "line".
Show proper lane change.
Show stopping at red light.  Stopping at stop sign.
Show bike on road with lights.

Show cyclist sharing the lane.
Show potholes or debris on right side of road

Many main roads that were originally built with four "standard width" lanes, have been re-striped to add a center turn lane.  This makes the lanes too narrow to share with cars.  use the full lane.  This means ride far enough to the left that passing traffic must use another lane.  The right tire track is often a good place to ride when you take the lane.  If you are traveling as fast as other traffic, use the full lane. Show 5-lane road with rider in narrow right lane "taking lane".  Show how passing traffic must use another lane.
When you stop at a traffic light, stay away from the curb or right-turning cars may cut around you.  Instead, where there are right-turning motorists, scoot to your left and signal drivers to "be my guest" and pass on your right. Show cyclist stop at red light then move to let car pass on right.
Always ride on the right side of the road, with traffic.  Pedestrians walk facing traffic because they can step sideways out of the way.
You can't do that on a bike.  Other drivers are not looking for wrong-way traffic.  Follow the rules of the road.
Show pedestrian walking, step sideways to avoid car.
Show car emerging from sidestreet nearly hit wrong way rider.
Show cyclist riding properly in traffic.

 

TV Cycling Public Service Announcement #2 (approx. 60 sec)

Script

Scene & Action

People who have little experience cycling generally believe that it is safer to ride on the sidewalk. Narrator on sidewalk straddling bike, at corner of main & side street facing oncoming traffic on main street.
Wrong!  Sidewalks are often very dangerous places to ride a bike.  Motorists do not expect traffic on the sidewalk so they don't look for you there.  If they don't see you when they cross your path, watch out. High speed car suddenly turns onto side street from behind narrator (squealing tires)
Sidewalks may have poor sight lines at intersections.  Even driveway crossings can be dangerous, especially in commercial areas.
It is safer to ride on the street as long as you know what you are doing and you follow the rules of the road.
Car, hidden by shrubs, backing out of driveway.
Restaurant driveway with car crossing sidewalk
Scenes of proper cycling on road.
You may also be surprised to learn that a "bike path" may not be a safe place to ride, especially if you try to go fast.  Multi-use trails have conflicting traffic -- skaters, dogs, children, that does not follow any "rules of the road". 
These paths are really just sidewalks -- often with dangerous intersections.  If you were riding on the road here you would have the right of way at side road intersections.  Not so on the path.
Show "multi-use" trial with skaters, dogs, etc.
Cyclist has to skid to a stop to dodge pedestrian
Show "near miss" at intersection.
Zoom in on "Stop, Walk Bike" sign
Always ride on the right side of the road -- with traffic.  Pedestrians walk facing traffic because they can step back or sideways out of the way.  You can't do that on a bike.  On a bike, you go much faster than pedestrians.  Other drivers are not looking for wrong-way riders.  Follow the rules of the road. Show pedestrian walking, step backwards to avoid car.
Show car emerging from side street nearly hitting wrong way rider.
Show cyclist riding properly in traffic.

 

TV Cycling Public Service Announcement #3 (approx. 40 sec)

Script

Scene & Action

You can use a bike to commute to work and get to errands.  It is safe and enjoyable, IF you do it correctly.  You drive a bike much as you drive a car -- following the same rules of the road. Show cyclists on road riding correctly.
If you carry packages, have proper bags or baskets.  Don't let your cargo interfere with controlling your bike. Show carrying packages correctly (in packs/panniers)
It is not only the scouts that need to be prepared.  Make sure your brakes are working and your tires are sound.  Always wear a helmet.  It will protect your brain in case you crash.  Cycling gloves protect your hands Show well-equipped cyclist
Cyclist squeezes brake handle (show brakes griping wheel)
Cyclist taps helmet
Cyclist holds up gloved hand
If you ever ride at night, you need lights!  Bright clothing is not enough. Show bike with headlight approaching
Show bike with lights & reflectors passing.
If you are caught at night without lights, never try to sneak home by riding on the sidewalk.  This is dangerous even in daylight.  If you do not have lights, walk your bike home. Show cyclist walking bike (in dark).
Be prepared and follow the rules of the road. Show cyclist with proper lights.

 

TV Cycling Public Service Announcement #4 (approx. 40 sec)

Script

Scene & Action

Some motorists think we should prevent cyclists from riding on the road.
But Ohio law says a bicycle is a vehicle.  This means a cyclist has the same rights and same responsibilities as other drivers.
Show bicycle police officer as narrator watching cyclist ride by (correct technique).
Some motorists harass cyclists for riding on the road.  But cyclists should not ride on the sidewalk, especially in a commercial area. Show car zooming by, horn blowing, yelling "Get on the Sidewalk"
If I see that kind of behavior, I'll go after the motorist. Back to officer.
I will also stop dangerous, lawless cyclists and write tickets if necessary. Show cyclist on wrong side of road
Show cyclist run stop sign.
Depict police officer writing ticket for cyclist.
Share the road!  It works both ways.  Drivers of passing vehicles have the duty to wait until passing is safe, and then give adequate room.  Drivers of vehicles being passed have the obligation to make passing easy as long as it is safe and reasonable. On 2-lane road, show car driver wait for oncoming traffic to clear.
Then pass with good clearance.
Show cyclist first signal following driver to "wait", then when safe, give way for passing.
We all need to be courteous and follow the rules of the road. Show cyclist at red light move left and give "be my guest" signal to allow motorist to turn right on red.
Show motorist give way to allow cyclist to move to left turn lane.

 

TV Cycling Public Service Announcement #5 (approx. 30 sec)

Script

Scene & Action

A bicycle is a narrow vehicle. Where the road is wide enough, it is quite easy to pass a bicycle. But some places, it is not safe to pass. Show cyclist riding near road edge.
A driver who wants to pass must wait until it is safe. As the cyclist approaches a "blind curve", (s)he looks back, signals to the left and moves to the center of the lane. Then (s)he holds out a left hand to signal "don't pass".
You never know what is coming around the bend. Suddenly, a big truck appears around the curve.
But if you wait just a few seconds, you can see whether it is safe to pass.

(Note: This PSA will require cooperation from police.)

As the bike completes rounding the curve, the cyclist looks ahead then signals following driver to pass because the road is clear ahead.


© Copyright 2003-2015 Fred Oswald.  Non Commercial distribution authorized.
The author is a certified cycling safety instructor", and a professional engineer in Ohio.
For comments, questions, contact fredoswald_AT_yahoo.com.
Last revised 10/24/15