Government cycle safety campaign from THINK! provokes backlash - from cyclists

Annabelle Green
Cyclists ride on a road in London
Cyclists ride on a road in London (Source: Getty)

A new cycle safety video from THINK! has sparked a backlash on Twitter from cyclists and motorists alike.

THINK!, which is run by the Department for Transport and promotes road safety, highlighted the dangers posed to cyclists by lorries turning left at junctions in a video shared on Twitter.

But the film received an immediate negative backlash from social media users, including calls for its removal and an official apology, who suggested it was in poor taste and ‘blames’ cyclists unfairly.

The video, which depicts a male cyclist becoming involved in a collision with a left-turning lorry, is interspersed with other short clips, including a boxer taking a blow to the face, a piano being dropped from the sky and a cartoon character being squashed.

Twitter users voiced their concerns over the nature of the advert, with one user commenting: "@THINKgovuk desperately misguided campaign that a) tries to make death fun b) vulnerable road user responsible for vehicle not fit for road".

Critics were not only concerned about the tone of the video but also argued that it showed the lorry driver breaking the Highway Code.

One user commented: "No I'm not RTing that @THINKgovuk "safety" ad which shows blatant disregard of the Highway Code by the HGV driver, directly causing a crash."

Another user said: "Appalling. You need to remove this [advert] today and apologise."

Several tweets show people referring the campaign to the Advertising Standards Authority, saying the video is 'victim blaming'.

The campaign comes in response to data revealing that a third of collisions between cyclists and lorries take place when a lorry turns left.

Accidents involving HGVs account for nearly one in five cycling fatalities, according to THINK!.

Rule 72 of the Highway Code warns cyclists not to ride on the inside of an indicating vehicle - however users on Twitter have cited rule 167 which says that vehicles should not overtake 'other road users' approaching a junction.

Watch the film from THINK! below.