Cyclists’ perceptions of motorist harassment pre- to post-trial of the minimum passing distance road rule amendment in Queensland, AustraliaKristiann C. Heesch A B D , Amy Schramm B C , Ashim Kumar Debnath B C and Narelle Haworth B C
A School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, O Block D Wing, 130 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059, Australia.
B Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Q Block, 130 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059, Australia.
C Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), K Block, 130 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Promotion Journal of Australia - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/HE16119
Submitted: 17 October 2016 Accepted: 12 January 2017 Published online: 9 February 2017
Issues addressed: Cyclists’ perceptions of harassment from motorists discourages cycling. This study examined changes in cyclists’ reporting of harassment pre- to post-introduction of the Queensland trial of the minimum passing distance road rule amendment (MPD-RRA).
Methods: Cross-sectional online surveys of cyclists in Queensland, Australia were conducted in 2009 (pre-trial; n = 1758) and 2015 (post-trial commencement; n = 1997). Cyclists were asked about their experiences of harassment from motorists while cycling. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine differences in the reporting of harassment between these time periods, after adjustments for demographic characteristics and cycling behaviour.
Results: At both time periods, the most reported types of harassment were deliberately driving too close (causing fear or anxiety), shouting abuse and making obscene gestures or engaging in sexual harassment. The percentage of cyclists who reported tailgating by motorists increased between 2009 and 2015 (15.1% to 19.5%; P < 0.001). The percentage of cyclists reporting other types of harassment did not change significantly.
Conclusions: Cyclists in Queensland continue to perceive harassment while cycling on the road. The amendment to the minimum passing distance rule in Queensland appears to be having a negative effect on one type of harassment but no significant effects on others.
So what?: Minimum passing distance rules may not be improving cyclists’ perceptions of motorists’ behaviours. Additional strategies are required to create a supportive environment for cycling.
Key words: bicycle, built environment, evaluation, exercise.
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