Pull over! I’d like to give you a hug

Posted by on April 28th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

This video (below) from Denmark is all over the web today. It shows two cops standing on the side of a bike lane, offering hugs and helmets to passing bicycle riders.

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It’s clearly a set-up done for publicity, but it’s heart-warming nonetheless. As I watched it I couldn’t help imagine the impact this could have if it spread across the globe. Can you imagine cops in New York City or Portland doing this?

That’s not to say our cops here in Stumptown are cold and heartless, many of them care a lot about people on bikes. They even used to pass out free lights to people in need, although I have never heard a story about hugs being included in the package.

Next week I hope to have a sit-down interview with the new Officer Eric Hendricks, the new Captain of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division. I make no promises that I’ll ask him to start a hugs-and-helmets campaign.

[Thanks to reader Tony T (and many others) for the link!]

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LeeTomJacob CAdams Carroll (News Intern)krx Recent comment authors
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Mike
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Mike

That’s awesome!!

amos
Guest

Bring him the video! How many signatures do we need to make this a mandatory training video?

Steven M.
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Steven M.

Hugs are nice, helmets blows. Give out something like lights.

I wonder what the Copenhagenize guy thinks.

M.D.
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M.D.

I think this is great, even if it just publicity. However, I may have to disagree with Steven. Helmets are pretty sexy.

Tim
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Tim

That’s the Danes getting their Hyggelig on.

April
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April

Steven M: That’s what I’m wondering–the copenhagenize guy is pretty anti-helmet. He’s got some good research behind him, too.

I do wear a helmet, but I probably wouldn’t in Copenhagen or Amsterdam.

KJ
Guest
KJ

Huh they only stopped male cyclists in the vid. Two women rode right by them I wonder why, speculating hugging strange women might not go over well..? Three women rode by without stoping but I couldn’t tell if the cops signaled them.

Nice helmets, those Giros. I love mine =) I would gladly hug a cop for a free Giro! Does that make me an easy rider?

beth h
Guest

Okay.

NOW I want to move to Eurpoe.

Perry
Guest
Perry

Wasn’t Lars Larsen recently ranting about cops doing this (or, something similar) in Eugene?

Krampus
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Krampus

How stupid. I’m a nonsmoker (of cigs at least) but I imagine this is how smokers feel too when everyone is telling them they ‘need to quit’, etc.

I get it. Riding without a helmet is “unsafe”. Now please, leave me the hell alone already. It’s my choice, a legal choice. Get over it, focus on yourself and quit worrying about me.

Paulo
Guest
Paulo

Lars Larsen would rant and complain if someone gave him a million dollars. BTW, isn’t Lars Larsen a Danish name?

David
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David

Portland is not Copenhagen or Amsterdam and never will be. Let’s just work to make Portland the best livable city in the United States of America. Nice promo video…almost as many white guys as Portland…

Joe
Guest
Joe

cool!

Cecil
Guest

Am I the only person that is creeped out by the idea of a cop pulling me over to give me a hug? Thanks, but I’ll pass.

Mikael
Guest

The problem with the video is that it is a fake viral film made by the very car-centric Danish Road Safety Council.

This eagerness to brand cycling as dangerous in the world’s safest cycling nation is only serving to scare people off their bikes.

Ironically, none of the motorists in the film were offered helmets by the actors. They have a higher risk of head injury. Where’s the logic?

Oh well, at least we’ll be selling more cars… that’s good for the economy.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

thanks Mikael

i had a hunch that something was fishy with this video. sort of wish I hadn’t posted it but I got tired of all the emails about it.

I still love the hugging part though!

cheers.

Scott Mizée
Guest

ah.. now the truth comes out. Thanks for sharing, Mikael.

Paul Tay
Guest

The original sneaky intent BACKFIRED!

Dan
Guest
Dan

Mikael, if there were a similar film with police hugging motorists and buckling their seat belts, would that be anti-car?

krx
Guest
krx

Mikael,

I’m not sure I follow, how does this video scare people off their bikes? Or increase the sale of cars?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

krx,

the #1 reason people don’t bike is because of their fear they’ll be hurt or killed.

this is a fear that doesn’t play out in actual statistics… it is only perpetuated by various factors… one of which is the inclination by some agencies and advocacy groups (mostly in the U.S., not in europe) to focus too much of their efforts on the “bike safety” mantra…thereby only perpetuating the idea to the very people who are concerned about it to begin with.

does that make sense?

Jacob C
Guest
Jacob C

Oh well. I still love this video.

Tom
Guest
Tom

This video, and the campaign in Denmark to get cyclist to wear helmets, shows how irrational fear can be. How many times do you hear the “I don’t want to be a vegetable” crowd say that they would not wear a helmet if the streets were safer, if we had separated cycle tracks, if American drivers would respect all road users, if if if. But in Denmark they have all that and there are still people trying to scare the pants of bikers.

April, I don’t doubt you. You wouldn’t wear a helmet in Amsterdam. Not because you would feel appreciably safer, but because you would stick out like a sore thumb. You would feel like a helmetless rider at Portland charity ride. But, after a couple of years of marketing helmets and testimonies from well meaning emergency room doctors, you would be back under the lid.

Lee
Guest
Lee

It’s not fake and it’s not a video from the Danish Road Safety Council: http://www.fordivielskerdig.dk/