A MESSAGE TO MOTORISTS #6

“A Message to Motorists” was a regular feature on EcoVelo. The intent was to help motorists see things from the perspective of cyclists to improve road relations and safety. Since many cyclists are also motorists, it will also remind us to think like bike riders when we’re behind the wheel.

As of January 1, 2012, EcoVelo is no longer being updated. It is remaining live  until at least January 1, 2014.

Over the 3.5 years that EcoVelo was active, they generated 3,320 posts of various sorts including road tests, product reviews, op-ed pieces, technical articles, advocacy and infrastructure news pieces, and a myriad of other tidbits related to using bicycles for transportation.

A MESSAGE TO MOTORISTS #6

Beverly Hills Bicycle Commuter

Dear Motorist,

I’m sure you’ve heard of it – it’s called the doppler effect. And you’ve undoubtedly experienced it when an emergency vehicle passed by with its siren blaring and the pitch and timbre of the sound changed as the vehicle approached and then receded away.

When you yell at cyclists from your automobile, the same thing happens; your voice is distorted as you pass by. The effect would actually be quite humorous if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s dangerous and distracting to startle a fellow road user for no good reason. It’s one thing to startle someone due to an accidental slip-up or lapse in concentration, but it’s something altogether different to startle someone for entertainment or to impress your friends. Doing so is rude, dangerous, and possibly even illegal if it leads to an accident.

Next time, please think twice before yelling something out of your car window at a cyclist — it makes you look silly and immature, and the cyclist has no idea what you’re saying anyway.

Thanks from all of us bike riders, some of whom may be your friends, neighbors, or loved ones.

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