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The Green Life: Cyclists as Referees of the Road?

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December 21, 2010

Cyclists as Referees of the Road?

Bike Bikers: Ever had a close call with a car, or witnessed reckless driving while on your bicycle but didn't want to resort to violence? You're in luck. Peter Hopkins Miller, an artist and filmmaker, devised a friendly way to warn dangerous drivers to be more careful.

Miller's Magnetic Yellow Card, invented in 2004 but gaining popularity today, is a business-card-sized magnet made for cyclists to carry and toss onto threatening cars. It reads, "This magnet was tossed onto your car by a cyclist who felt that you might have been driving in a way that could have endangered their life. They chose to toss this magnetic note because it can neither damage your automobile, nor affix itself to rubber or glass and will therefore not affect your driving. It serves to warn you. With thoughtful contemplation and reverence for humanity, we can adjust our behavior to allow for all people to live life. This is a yellow card, let's please not let things get to Red."

Miller's website offers a PDF of the Magnetic Yellow Card, giving cyclists the means to self-produce as many magnets as they'd like. Letting them act as referees on the road seems like a great idea in theory. But let's hope that the flying yellow warnings don't cause more distractions and accidents, or provoke road rage in drivers offended by the intervention.

--Molly Oleson

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