The Rider Reminder / by Glenn Dixon

This morning my ticket to the Melburn Roobaix cycle event arrived courtesy of the diligent folk at Australia Post. Bundled inside the envelope was this curious object created by the Transport Accident Commission.

The ribbed plastic strip is designed to be affixed to the inside of your cars interior door handle. The instant you grasp the handle, the interaction between fingers and plastic aims to recall the sensation of gripping the handlebars of a bicycle. It’s a firm reminder to check for cyclists before swinging the car door into the street.

If we consider the ways in which warnings are typically communicated to us, ie. visually gaudy signs and/or loud auditory intrusions, it’s refreshing that the designers considered the power of touch and haptic interactions in creating a warning system that is invisible and inaudible. 

From my perspective, this concept is creative, subtle and purposeful. The squishy textured plastic certainly does recall memories of a childhood spent exploring the neighbourhood by bicycle. I wonder if this feeling is universal? I wonder what feeling or memory this tactile interaction recalls for you? Feel free to leave any responses in the comments below. In the mean time I have a sticker to install!

I wanted to conclude this post with a recent campaign film from the TAC. These campaigns have aired on Australian television since the late 80s. They have had an overwhelming and lasting impression on me. According to the TAC website 'On 10 December, 1989 the first TAC commercial went to air. In that year the road toll was 776 - by 2012 it had fallen to 303'. The power of Story is certainly contributing to the decline in road fatalities.