New Laws, Road Wars, Courtesy and Animosity: Cycling Safety in Queensland Newspapers

The media play an important role in road safety and have a significant influence on road user behaviors. This is achieved through educating road users and communicating safety issues. The issue of cycling safety was again prominent in 2014 when the Queensland Government in Australia trialed new laws to improve cycling conditions. In Australia, the relationship between cyclists and motorists has been described as “road wars”, and a one meter passing law was introduced to reduce cycling fatalities and improve road sharing. The aim of this study was to examine the media portrayal of cyclists and cycling following the introduction of the changes. A content analysis of 12 Queensland daily newspapers was undertaken to investigate topics in relation to the new laws, cycling safety, road wars, road factors, accidents, and blame. Data was collected between April, 2014 and January, 2015, with a sample of 467 story items. Analysis of the stories showed a highly negative portrayal of the new laws and cyclists, particularly through user-generated content. The implications for road safety and future road safety-related media activities are discussed.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01607969
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2016 11:03AM