NBC's Report on Road Rage Toward Cyclists — With 50% Fewer Clichés

Recently NBC News ran this report on cyclists using bike- or helmet-mounted cameras, such as GoPro to document motorists bad behavior and/or aggression towards cyclists.

And it’s… not bad — for a television news piece on cyclists and motorists.

It doesn’t blame the victims — the cyclists. It doesn’t paint all cyclists with a broad brush. And, most gratefully, it doesn’t use that damn Queen song that, 34 years later, media outlets seem to still think is clever to use in their pieces on cycling.


Yes, it could have been better.

“Nationwide, bicycling has never been more popular.” And that’s true. And it’s never been safer either, but the reporter, Tom Costello, didn’t mention that.

(Well, perhaps it was safer during that interlude before the automobile was invented and subsequently took over our roads, energy and transportation policies.)

NBCNews.com video: Hey, angry driver: Smile for the bike cam
NBCNews.com video: Hey, angry driver: Smile for the bike camera

Costello provides a blend of statistics and scary absolute numbers that shed little light on the benefits of cycling — a net benefit that outweighs the ever-diminishing risks of cycling. But he clearly states that there is bad behavior on the sides of motorists and cyclists, and that much of it is perception.

With so many drivers and cyclists sharing the road, there is a perception that no one is actually obeying the rules. Cyclists unwilling to stop at stop signs. With motorists often speeding or unwilling to give cyclists the room they need.

There’s also a very brief interview with Bob Mionske underscoring the rights of cyclists.

Hey, angry driver: Smile for the bike cam - Video on NBCNews.com
Compared to 33,000 killed in motor vehicle crashes. Let’s see… 618 divided by… Sorry. No time for the math. There’s a RAM truck commercial coming up.

I mean, it is TV news. I have low expectations. Should I?

I’ll admit that I don’t get much of my news from TV — and what I often see is bad examples of TV news via Web videos.

Set me straight, readers. Is this better than typical coverage of bike commuting on the news?

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