Monday, October 13, 2008

Carrots, Not Crackdowns

In response to a recent post about a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists and pedestrians, a reader named Sam wrote that perhaps a more positive approach was in order. He mentioned some good examples, probably in Scandinavia (as always), where police use the carrot approach to safety enforcement by giving away reflector vests and lights to riders caught not not using them.

A couple days later, I discovered an example much closer to home: In Békés County, in southeast Hungary, police have been carrying out a campaign for seven years targetting kids. It covers biking safety in general, with an accent on lamps and reflectors. An article on the Duna TV website, notes that in the town of Orosház from January-September of this year, cyclists were involved in 14 accidents, three of which involved night riding without lights.

Twenty-nine communities took part in the campaign and 43 bike shops lent their support with discounted lamps and reflectors .

1 comment:

Vándorló said...

Well, personally this should help. The reason cycling in Budapest is so dangerous for the majority (apart from the appalling driving skills of the indigenous population) is that few wear any clothing or reflective gear - forcing them onto the pavement. I'd also welcome a crackdown on cyclists that ignore the road signs and cycle right through at the risk of pedestrians.

But, above all these, a 'crackdown' (i.e. enforcing the law) works in Hungary because this fits the mentality and people can understand this even if they don't like it. But why would anyone complain? It saves their lives and others.