Road safety, News, 11.07.2012, Julian Ferguson, ECF
Almost everyone from the cycling world knows The Times’ #cyclesafe Campaign. Italy’s sister campaign #salvaiciclisti is equally as famous. Within three days of launching the campaign, Italy’s national parliament was drafting a bill on cycling safety. The question is, how did the Italians gather so much momentum so quickly?
It would appear that bloggers lead the charge using Facebook, Twitter and ‘email bombing ‘. Italian bicycle blogger Paolo Pinzuti has written the Cyclocospiracy handbook which describes how the #salvaiciclisti movement managed to win the support of the Italian Prime Minister.
“We decide to write this handbook in order to share our experience with cyclists all around the globe, hoping that the #salvaiciclisti (#cyclesafe) movement might expand all over Europe,” explains Pinzuti.
What fascinates is that the #salvaiciclisti campaign model proved extraordinarily cheap.
Writing in the handbook, Nutini explains that: “Bringing 50.000 people on the streets in Rome was much easier than you might think. If your message is clear and people’s commitment is strong, you don’t need much money for advertising. 593,44 euro is what has been spent for traditional advertisement by #salvaiciclisti: posters and fliers.”
His account is a fascinating read, especially in a country where car ownership remains high (64 cars per 100 inhabitants) and political support for cycling is weak.
“What happened in Italy was a miracle, but not an accident,” adds Pinzuti.
“It was the result of a planned strategy that gave a voice to a sleeping majority.”
You can download a copy of the handbook here.