If you had the ability and the means to prevent an accidental death, you would. Of course. No question. The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario released a report last July. The most jarring conclusion: “all of the 129 deaths in this Review could have been prevented.”
We’re talking about cycling-related deaths. The report covers a review of cycling deaths in Ontario between 2006 and 2010. At the core of its 14 recommendations: education.
“A lot of people don’t realize that they’re in danger,” said Brian Gahan, TDC Partner & Chief Creative Officer, at a press conference in Toronto’s Metro Hall. “When you’re cycling in a bike lane or on the side of the road and you ride up next to a truck, you think you’re safe, but you may not be.”
“Regardless of checking their mirrors, when making a right turn [truck drivers] can’t see you,” said Eleanor McMahon, founder and CEO of Share The Road Cycling Coalition.
Our first Share The Road PSA was about humanizing the conflict. “We’re all cyclists or drivers or both. It’s on all of us to share the road. It’s on all of us to be accountable for our own safety and for the safety of others,” says Gahan. It moves us all.
This is what we believe. As a group of individuals who make up an ad agency that practices the art of influence for social good, working on a campaign like this is something we simply have to do–and it’s something we want to do. Advocacy grabs you like that.
So does McMahon. Working with her is always passionate and rewarding. What seems impossible becomes attainable. “We all know what needs to be done,” she wrote in her statement on the coroner’s report.
The goal of “Stay Back. Stay Safe.” is to educate–to effect change. And to do that, we need to get the core, key messages out there.
A truck has a blind spot. Back wheels can enter into a bike lane, despite a skilled truck driver’s best attempt to keep clear. Cyclists need to know that they could be in danger. And it’s not about fault. It’s about safety.
It’s that simple.