Worst bike safety ads

Advertising campaigns are often thought to be an important part of promoting and improving road safety, but sometimes the message isn't communicated very well.

Instead of addressing the true risks to vulnerable road users or showing people that riding a bike is fun, ads can sometimes fall into the trap of victim blaming or ostracising people who ride.

We've compiled a list of the worst bike ads of all time. If can think of any examples that should be included in this list, let us know.

AAMI insurance  not at fault car hire

While bike riding is not the focus of this ad, it is still relevant.

The Australian insurance company wanted to promote their service that provides a replacement car for people when their own car has been involved in a crash that wasn't their fault.

AAMI thought the best way to demonstrate this service would be by showing how terrible it would be if you didn't have a car and had to use active transport.

The ad received criticism on social media, and AAMI responded with a tweet saying the ad was an attempt at humour.

Ghost bike

This UK advert also tried to tell people that you must wear bright or high visibility clothing or risk being a ghost, as if there some sort of Newton's bike law that says if you're not visible you're invisible.

Don't get caught between a truck and the kerb

Data from the UK showed that a lot of crashes happened between bikes and trucks when the truck was turning left.

Someone thought that the best way to fix this would be by showing a truck driver overtake a rider, turn in front of them, run them over and tell riders that there are things you shouldn't get caught between.

See cyclist, think horse

Another from our friends on the small island asked drivers to treat bike riders just like they would a horse.

This comical ad shows people on bikes having their feet worked on and face rubbed as if they were a horse. It then said that drivers should treat riders like horses and pass them with care.

The ad was quickly sent to the knackery, but not for the horse comparison. The last scene shows a woman riding a bike on a road and this was seen to be sending the wrong message, because she wasn't wearing a helmet and wasn't riding in the cobbled gutter.

ACT acts up

When you see a bicycle on the road, think of it as just another car said the ACT Government in early 2015. The ad was put out with the aim of reducing bike rider deaths. It was hoped that fatalities would be reduced by reminding drivers that even if they don't think they should be, bike riders are allowed on the road.

The wild west

There have been a series of terrible ads made in Western Australia recently. There was the speeding slows you down campaign that said drivers should not speed because of the unimaginable consequence of having to ride a bicycle, and also an ad that tried to promote safe passing.

The reason the Road Safety Commission said you should consider passing a rider at a safe distance is because they might be a hot dad.

Molly changes hats

We came across this one when we were conducting our helmet policy review. In this video Molly Meldrum swaps his Stetson for a stackhat, rides through a sonic Australia and asks us to wear a helmet to keep our head together. It's worth a look, also because it reminds us that Adelaide once had the Grand Prix.

SA safety message is dim, not enlightening

Some of the above ads originally appeared in our piece about some videos on Facebook featuring Australian cyclist Anna Meares that told people to wear bright clothes if they want to ride a bike.

The videos have been taken down from Facebook, but you can read about them here.

Life in the bike lane_anna meares

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