The Classic - Cycle Oregon

National bike org launches ‘Travel With Care’ safety campaign

Posted by on November 12th, 2014 at 11:28 am

National industry-funded bicycle advocacy group People for Bikes (formerly Bikes Belong) has launched a new PSA campaign dubbed “Travel With Care.” The campaign aims at “humanizing people on bikes and encouraging better behavior among drivers and bike riders.”

A series of posters has been launched and they’ll soon be appearing on billboards and other locations nationwide.

The campaign was modeled on the “Drive With Care” campaign launched (via a successful crowd-funding effort) by the non-profit Bike Pittsburgh this past spring.

The visuals include portraits of everyday people and their bikes, along with some clever taglines. For instance a chef’s posters reads: “Chef. Neighbor. Rides a bike. Don’t cut it close.”

People for Bikes says, “We want to inspire the general public to see every bike rider as a neighbor, friend or family member—just a normal person who chooses to bike.”


The campaign is also very similar to one created by the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition in 2007 in response to the death of Timothy O’Donnell. The “And We Bike” campaign also included portraits of everyday riders and events where people held up signs on the side of the road that read “neighbor,” “employee,” “friend,” and so on. That campaign earned WashCoBTC’s former leader Hal Ballard an Alice Award nomination.

Here are more of the posters from the new People for Bikes campaign…

I’m glad they changed the slogan from “Drive” to “Travel” because I think people respond poorly when bike-related campaigns look like they’re targeted only at drivers. I also like the mix of people in the portraits — the race car driver being an especially good idea.

If enough media companies donate enough quality advertising spots to this campaign, it could help encourage more people to chill out while using the roads. And that’s a good thing.

The only thing that bums me out about this type of campaign is that it lays bare a hard truth of American roadway culture: Most people don’t even consider bike riders as being human. Oh well, I guess we’ve got to start somewhere.

What do you think?

Portland Century August 19th

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  • SilkySlim November 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I like it, but would have shifted a bit to be less about personas and more about functional trips. For example, on the little girl one, I’d have the copy be “Student, Sister, Rides to Soccer Practice”.

    My reasoning being that I get much more flak from drivers when out on a weekend joy ride than I do when obviously commuting at 8am with panniers. Not that I don’t have the right for a joy ride or anything, but functional trips sure are tough to argue with!

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  • William Henderson November 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Chef. Neighbor. Will stab the crap out of you if you cut it close.

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    • q`Tzal November 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Chef works with a knife every day and knows how to get a clean cut. Does any local hoodlum that much bladed experience?
      OTOH: the hot-headed chef trope is overworked. Most are not violent egomaniacs.

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  • Dave November 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Why should these ads NOT be aimed at drivers–the behavior of drivers is the vastly larger problem?

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    • q`Tzal November 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Because it’ll rustle their jimmies.

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  • Adam H. November 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    The ads appear to be directed at the person in the photo, not the person driving a car. It seems to be telling the person riding a bike to “travel with care”. Very similar to effect of the “share the road” signs. People see the message directed at the person on the ad/sign and not them.

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  • Alex Phillips November 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I love the campaign and hope to see it displayed regularly. Seems like this message can be one small piece in the giant puzzle of changing motorists attitudes towards cyclists.

    I often speak with motorists who cannot relate to cyclists as people they can identify with or have compassion for or even work cooperatively with.

    I did notice the posters show some tough people. Showing more people that truly look more like a person who happens to ride to bike might be good.

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  • Rebecca November 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Cool to see Eric Larsen in the mix – that’s the Surly Moonlander he tried to ride across Antarctica to the South Pole.

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  • Spiffy November 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    people in the ad: student, race car driver, personal trainer, pro athlete, chef, firefighter, polar explorer

    people in the ad that the general public encounters in their daily routines: none

    none of those people in the ad speak to me… I never have personal social interactions with any of those types of people… perhaps I do have interactions with them in their normal clothing, but you really don’t see people biking in race car or firefighting gear…

    I’m thinking drivers will get a good laugh as they fail to connect those out of place people with the bikes, then as Adam H says, they’ll think “yeah, those cyclists need to travel with care”…

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  • Matheas Michaels November 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I support this campaign, but some of those puns are absolutely terrible.

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    • Pete November 13, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Driving you nuts?

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  • Pete November 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    IMO these are well thought out and I don’t get the impression that readers will mistakenly believe they’re only telling cyclists to bike with care. I like that they seem to level the message and not focus it or direct blame, and I also think SilkySlim has a good point (though word count is tricky when the target audience is moving by). I also like that they changed their name away from “Bikes Belong” which came off a little whiny to me.

    The selection seems good – it kind of catches you off guard to see a race car driver and not some “Lance wannabe in spandex.” I think their next one should be a police officer on bike patrol…

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  • Patrick Barber November 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Finally, a safety campaign that puts responsibility on the car driver! Now, if only all safety campaigns could be so right-thinking…

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  • wsbob November 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    “…I’m glad they changed the slogan from “Drive” to “Travel” because I think people respond poorly when bike-related campaigns look like they’re targeted only at drivers. …” maus/bikeportland

    Traveling safe, should be the primary objective of everyone using the road. I think not using the word ‘drive’ and instead using ‘travel’ as a key part of the campaigns’, or slogan’s name, does make for a better, more worthy emphasis.

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  • Staj Pace
    Staj Pace November 13, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Curious, what is their outreach / distribution plan? Or how do communities get their hands on them if they want them? I work in rural communities a lot and I don’t think they always know that tools like this are available for them. I also think it’d be great if they included more less-extreme looking folks, like the little girl is good, but the chef, race car driver and polar dude all look pretty hard core. What about moms, farmers, people who work in offices, the average Joe, etc.?

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    • Pete November 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      This is an excellent question! I couldn’t find a portal online but they do have an email address listed. I tried to fill out their form asking for details but my corporate firewall is blocking the ‘captcha’ functionality. I’ll email them from my private mailbox and post details here if/when I hear back (suggest you do too).

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  • Jonathan Gordon November 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I like that only two out of five of the models are shown with helmets, and no one is actually pictured wearing a helmet. It humanizes people on bikes and legitimizes both choices.

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  • Trek 3900 November 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I think if car drivers can see bike riders they will be less likely to hit them. Be visible or else.

    Quote from above: “Finally, a safety campaign that puts responsibility on the car driver!” This attitude is what gets cyclists killed.

    What about the cyclist, do they not have some responsibility to make themselves visible to car drivers?

    If you are wearing highly visible clothing and have flashing lights a car driver is going to have a hard time telling the policeman that he didn’t see you.

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    • Adam H. November 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Because the burden of safety should fall on the party most able to cause the greatest harm. Would you also have people walking on the sidewalk “wearing highly visible clothing and have flashing lights”?

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    • Pete November 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      I don’t disagree with your point, but in many cases it’s not your flashing lights and bright clothing that will prevent the collision – it’s either your correct road placement and communication as a cyclist, or it’s your unfortunate timing with that distracted driver who’s coming off the roadway and/or driving too fast for conditions. And unfortunately with these situations you likely won’t have the opportunity to tell the policeman (or prosecuting DA) anything.

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  • Trek 3900 November 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I’m not going to have anyone do anything. Do exactly what you want – I’m just telling you that if you are out in the street (riding or walking) and car drivers can’t see you, you may be hit. Is that a difficult concept for you?

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    • James November 14, 2014 at 6:45 am

      It’s not a difficult concept. It’s a shitty one that places the burden of safety on the disempowered.

      Why aren’t you lecturing motorists to drive at a speed where they can safely react to cyclists and pedestrians wearing everyday clothes?

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      • Adam H. November 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

        Right, it’s Trek 3900’s line of thinking that leads to the toxic “roads are for cars, not people” mentality.

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  • Trek 3900 November 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Too bad James and Adam refuse to take any responsibility for their own safety. I wish those with similar irresponsible attitudes the very best of luck.

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