Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Cyclists’ perceptions of motorist harassment pre- to post-trial of the minimum passing distance road rule amendment in Queensland, Australia

Kristiann 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: k.heesch@qut.edu.au

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

Abstract

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.


References

[1]  Mueller N, Rojas-Rueda D, Cole-Hunter T, de Nazelle A, Dons E, Gerike R, et al (2015) Health impact assessment of active transportation: a systematic review. Prev Med 76, 103–14.
Health impact assessment of active transportation: a systematic review.CrossRef | open url image1

[2]  Wanner M, Gotschi T, Martin-Diener E, Kahlmeier S, Martin BW (2012) Active transport, physical activity, and body weight in adults: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med 42, 493–502.
Active transport, physical activity, and body weight in adults: a systematic review.CrossRef | open url image1

[3]  Oja P, Titze S, Bauman A, de Geus B, Krenn P, Reger-Nash B, et al (2011) Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review. Scand J Med Sci Sports 21, 496–509.
Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3MnntFalsw%3D%3D&md5=aa51561ed324df7f5908d367ad8dc049CAS | open url image1

[4]  Christmas S, Helman S, Buttress S, Newman C, Hutchins R. Cycling, safety and sharing the road: qualitative research with cyclists and other road users. Road Safety Web Publication No.17. London, UK: Department of Transport; 2010.

[5]  Garrard J, Crawford S, Hakman N. Revolutions for women: increasing women’s participation in cycling for recreation and transport. Melbourne: Deakin University; 2006.

[6]  McKenna J, Whatling M (2007) Qualitative accounts of urban commuter cycling. Health Educ 107, 448–62.
Qualitative accounts of urban commuter cycling.CrossRef | open url image1

[7]  O’Connor JP, Brown TD (2010) Riding with the sharks: serious leisure cyclists’ perceptions of sharing the road with motorists. J Sci Med Sport 13, 53–58.
Riding with the sharks: serious leisure cyclists’ perceptions of sharing the road with motorists.CrossRef | open url image1

[8]  Rissel C, Campbell F, Ashley B, Jackson L (2002) Driver road rule knowledge and attitudes towards cyclists. Aust J Prim Health 8, 66–9.
Driver road rule knowledge and attitudes towards cyclists.CrossRef | open url image1

[9]  Sibley A. Women’s cycling survey: analysis of results. Greensboro, NC: Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and Department of Health Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; 2010.

[10]  Emond CR, Tang W, Handy SL (2009) Explaining gender difference in bicycling behavior. Transp Res Rec 2125, 16–25.
Explaining gender difference in bicycling behavior.CrossRef | open url image1

[11]  Jacobsen PL, Racioppi F, Rutter H (2009) Who owns the roads? How motorised traffic discourages walking and bicycling. Inj Prev 15, 369–73.
Who owns the roads? How motorised traffic discourages walking and bicycling.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1MfgtFyktw%3D%3D&md5=099b54b0d2995b96bef481001dabd2cfCAS | open url image1

[12]  Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads. Sharing the road with bicycle riders. Brisbane, Qld. 2016. Available from: http://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/other/cyclists/. [Verified 3 October 2016].

[13]  National Conference of State Legislatures. Safely passing bicyclists chart. Washington, DC; 2016. Available from: http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/safely-passing-bicyclists.aspx. [Verified 3 October 2016].

[14]  Schramm AJ, Haworth N, Heesch KC, Watson A, Debnath A. Evaluation of the Queensland minimum passing distance road rule: Final report. Brisbane: Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland; 2016.

[15]  Heesch KC, Garrard J, Sahlqvist S (2011) Incidence, severity and correlates of bicycling injuries in a sample of cyclists in Queensland, Australia. Accid Anal Prev 43, 2085–92.
Incidence, severity and correlates of bicycling injuries in a sample of cyclists in Queensland, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

[16]  Heesch KC, Sahlqvist S, Garrard J (2011) Cyclists’ experiences of harassment from motorists: findings from a survey of cyclists in Queensland, Australia. Prev Med 53, 417–20.
Cyclists’ experiences of harassment from motorists: findings from a survey of cyclists in Queensland, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

[17]  Australian Bureau of Statistics. Remoteness structure. Canberra, ACT. 2014. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/home/remoteness+structure [Verified 6 October 2016].

[18]  Johnson M, Chong D, Carroll J, Katz R, Oxley J, Charlton J. Naturalist cycling study: identifying risk factors for cyclists in the Australian Capital Territory. Report No. 322. Melbourne, Vic.: Monash University Accident Research Centre and Amy Gillett Foundation; 2014. Available from: http://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/217306/muarc322.pdf. [Verified 3 October 2016].

[19]  Horton D. Fear of cycling. In Horton D, Rosen P, Cox P, editors. Cycling and society (pp. 133–52). Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing; 2007.

[20]  Munro C. National cycling participation survey 2015: national results. Sydney, NSW: Austroads Ltd; 2015.



Export Citation