Cyclists' experiences of harassment from motorists : findings from a survey of cyclists in Queensland, Australia

Heesch, Kristiann, Sahlqvist, Shannon, & Garrard, Jan (2011) Cyclists' experiences of harassment from motorists : findings from a survey of cyclists in Queensland, Australia. Preventive Medicine, 53(6), pp. 417-420.

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Harassment from motorists is a major constraint on cycling that has been under-researched. We examined incidence and correlates of harassment of cyclists.


Cyclists in Queensland, Australia were surveyed in 2009 about their experiences of harassment while cycling, from motor vehicle occupants. Respondents also indicated the forms of harassment they experienced. Logistic regression modeling was used to examine gender and other correlates of harassment.


Of 1830 respondents, 76% of men and 72% of women reported harassment in the previous 12 months. The most reported forms of harassment were driving too close (66%), shouting abuse (63%), and making obscene gestures/sexual harassment (45%). Older age, overweight/obesity, less cycling experience (< 2 years) and less frequent cycling (< 3 days/week) were associated with less likelihood of harassment, while living in highly advantaged areas (SEIFA deciles 8 or 9), cycling for recreation, and cycling for competition were associated with increased likelihood of harassment. Gender was not associated with reports of harassment.


Efforts to decrease harassment should include a closer examination of the circumstances that give rise to harassment, as well as fostering road environments and driver attitudes and behaviors that recognize that cyclists are legitimate road users.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 46135
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: bicycle, physical activity, transport, safety, harassment
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.09.015
ISSN: 0091-7435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in [Preventive Medicine]. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in [Preventive Medicine], [53, 6, (2011)] 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.09.015
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2011 00:32
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2013 18:10

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