Car forces bike off the road in Holden ad

August 14, 2013 at 20:32 | Posted in bicycles | 6 Comments
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If you don’t ride a bike, you’ll think I have my knickers in a twist about this. If you regularly ride a bike in Australia, this will make your blood boil. It’s the latest ad from Holden for some new car of theirsĀ  (click here to watch).

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Now, there’s been some commentary about this on their YouTube channel, and here is their response:

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Well I’m sorry Holden, but your comments just don’t wash. This ad clearly depicts careless and dangerous driving, even if its not immediately apparent to a casual, non-cycling viewer. Let’s take a look at it frame by frame.
At 18s, we see the driver is not paying attention to the road – he is more interested in looking at his companion than at the road ahead of him:

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At 20s in, we see the cyclist from behind. The implication is that this is the drivers POV. The car must be extremely close to the back wheel of the bike to get this shot. Perhaps the driver should have been looking at the road two seconds earlier:

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At 21 seconds we see the car make a significant swerve to go around the (crashed) cyclist – check how the body is rolling on the suspension. In order to require such a sharp manoeuvre, the car must have been driving directly at the cyclist in the moments prior. (Had the driver been driving safely and with care, he would have pulled out to give the cyclist room well before he got so close, and would not have needed to make such a sudden swerve.) At he is close too; we can see the car is indeed no more than 2 or 3 metres behind the cyclist:

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Perhaps someone from Holden’s marketing department would like to ride a bike down the street whilst I drive my car behind then two metres off their back wheel – let me tell you, it’s pretty terrifying. It’s also illegal under Australian Road Rule 127.

The driver does not then stop to render assistance to the cyclist, or check he is OK – instead he just drives off.

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Whilst most Australian drivers are thankfully much more observant and much more considerate than the driver in this ad, it is a sad fact that there is a tiny minority out there who think cyclists are ‘fair game’, and will deliberately drive at them, drive close to them and in some cases even force them off the road. These incidents are of course rare, but anyone who has cycled in Australia for any length of time will probably have experienced this type of thing at some point. For Holden to be glorifying and legitimising this kind of hoon behaviour is utterly unacceptable – and simply shrugging it off as ‘tongue in cheek’ is not good enough.

Sure, make an ad that pokes bland cars in the eye. But don’t try to claim it’s funny when someone exhibiting careless driving puts a vulnerable road user in danger.

You can make a complaint about the ad here, if you feel moved to do so.
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