A government ad campaign asking you to treat bicycles like cars

The ACT Government is launching a new campaign to try and get drivers to be nicer to cyclists.

The above video is the fruit of that labour. It comes with this note:

Did you know that bicycles are classified as vehicles under our road rules? Whether you drive or ride, you’ve got the same rights and have to follow the same rules.

UPDATE: Shane has now shared his thoughts on the subject:

The rights and responsibilities of both cyclists and motorists on the road is the focus of a new Share the Road campaign launched by Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury, and ACT Policing Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers today.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving a car or riding a bicycle or a motorcycle – we all need to act responsibly, be courteous to each other and share the road. Developing this culture will make our roads a safer and friendlier place to be,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“This latest instalment of the Share the Road campaign promotes the simple message of “drive or ride – same rights, same rules”. It’s about recognising the rights of motorists and cyclists to use our roads and the need for everyone to follow the road rules and share the road.

“The campaign challenges motorists and cyclists to think of a bicycle as being like a car. It might sound strange, but it also makes a lot of sense, because as far as the law is concerned, cyclists have the same right to use the road as motorists.

“This also means that cyclists have the same responsibility to follow the road rules. So when you’re riding a bike, stopping at red lights, signalling to turn and obeying other road rules will help keep you safe and earn the respect of other road users.

“But, while we all have the same rights and same rules, we need to remember that cyclists and motorcyclists are vulnerable as they don’t have the same crash protection you get from a car. We all need to look out for cyclists and motorcyclists and give them room. A smile or a thank-you wave wouldn’t hurt either.

“The campaign will complement a series of further changes, which we’ll progressively implement to make Canberra a safer and friendlier place for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. These include a new minimum passing distance rule when cars pass cyclists, and reforms to driver license tests to emphasise their responsibilities to vulnerable road users.

Mr Rattenbury said the Same Rights, Same Rules campaign will run from 1 February 2015 to 31 March 2014 and will include television, cinema, radio and digital commercials.

“I think people will enjoy these commercials. They contain a simple road safety message, mixed in with some light humour.

“So let’s be aware of all road users and remember that whether you drive or ride – same rights, same rules,” Mr Rattenbury said.

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