New York City Bicycle Safety Look

Today is National Ride to Work Day in Australia. Bicycle Victoria has run the day since but is now rolling out the campaign nationally. In New York City another coalition is being formed – the New York City Bicycle Safety Coalition, formed in 2006 in response to a 40% increase in cyclist fatalities over the prior year. The NYC Bicycle Safety Coalition has launched the Look Campaign, reminding motorists and cyclists that prevention of accidents is made possible with one action: Look.

Bicycle safety poster featuring car

The LOOK campaign aims to prevent collisions between motorists and cyclists by educating the public about bicycle safety and encouraging cars and bikes to share the road. LOOK campaign advertisements will run on bus stop shelters, bus tails, phone kiosks, taxi tops, at gas stations and on postcards that will be placed in restaurants around the city. The ads will also be featured in Time Out NY and New York Magazine and radio advertisements will be broadcast on local stations.

Bicycle safety poster featuring truck

The LOOK campaign was developed for the NYC Bicycle Safety Coalition following the 2006 release of the first comprehensive analysis of bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in New York City. The report showed that nearly all fatal crashes were the result of poor driving or bicycle riding behavior, particularly driver inattention and disregarding traffic signals and signs. This LOOK campaign was designed to combat that. In addition to improving motorist and cyclist awareness, the City, last year, committed to doubling the number of on-street bicycle lanes and paths in three years, improving data collection, analysis and reporting of bicycle injuries, and increasing enforcement to keep cars from parking in bicycle lanes.

Bicycle safety postcard - Car doors open only when bicycles are around

“At DOT we’ve committed to expand the City’s bicycle network at an unprecedented pace, and today we’re asking all New Yorkers to do their part to make our streets safe,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan.” The idea behind this campaign is simple – we’re asking everyone to accept responsibility to look out for each other on the city’s streets.”

Bicycle safety postcard - Helmet hair is beautiful

“Nearly 3,500 NYC bicyclists were injured by cars between 1996 and 2003, and 225 were killed,” said Lorna Thorpe, the Health Department’s deputy commissioner for epidemiology. “The City is making tremendous strides toward a safer cycling environment, but motorists and cyclists have critical roles to play.”

Bicycle safety postcard - If a driver sees you the chances are they won't hit you

“Improving bike safety is a two-way street,” said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. “Drivers need to know that bikers have a right to the road and bikers need to know that drivers are looking out for their safety. That’s why we all need to work together to take simple steps to share the road and keep our city streets safe.”

“These forceful ads will prevent collisions, save lives, and affirm cyclists’ responsibilities and rights to the road,” said Paul Steely White, Transportation Alternatives” Executive Director.


The Look campaign was developed pro bono at Publicis West, Seattle, by executive creative director Bob Moore, creative director Rob Rich, copywriter Kammie McArthur, art director Patrick Mullins, photographer Kiran Master, and designer/illustrator/typographer Yumiko Menikoff.

The NYC Bicycle Safety Coalition is a partnership among City agencies, bicycle advocacy groups and the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Coalition is made up of the City’s Transportation, Police and Health Departments, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the Public Advocate’s Office, Transportation Alternatives, the Five Borough Bike Club and AAA .