Police in Belarus have employed a novel way of reinforcing to drivers the need to look out for cyclists – by staging a fake collision scene, with a mangled bike and a dummy standing in for an unconscious cyclist, complete with fake blood.
Going by pictures posted to the Belarusian website, Tut.by, it was a chillingly convincing scene, complete with fake blood.
But BBC News, citing the Tut.by report, says that only nine motorists stopped their vehicles, out of 186 that passed by.
That’s a rate of one in 20, even though in some cases a police officer played the part of a passer-by and attempted to flag down passing traffic to alert them to the scene.
One of them drove past the incident but went back to investigate further, and five other motorists reported what they had seen when they reached a traffic checkpoint further down the road.
Each of the "Good Samaritans" received a calendar and a licence plate frame for having stopped.
One middle-aged couple that stopped at the scene offered to take the casualty to hospital until they were told that wouldn’t be necessary.
Asked whether, had the incident been real, he’d have been worried about blood staining the back seat of his car, the man, Grigory Yevgenievich replied: "Human life is precious, and you can always wash your seat covers."
Some of the drivers that did stop were said to have run towards the prone figure, in the hope of being able to revive the casualty; others were reported to have begun to summon the emergency services on their mobile phones.
Others revealed that they had come across similar, real-life scenes while driving. One motorist related how he helped revive an unconscious cyclist whom he had discovered by the roadside with a wound to his head.
While nine drivers stopped and five others subsequently told police what they had seen, that still leaves 172 vehicles – more than nine in ten of the ones that passed by – whose occupants did nothing.
According to a local traffic official, the “Don't Look the Other Way!” campaign has been devised due to the road carrying a large volume of lorries, and the danger to cyclists posed by that being “unfortunately pretty high.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.