Has anyone else found a sudden increase in drivers going out of their way to be nice to riders?

This week I've had cars stop to let me through twice in places where I should give way to them. First was in a new development where the traffic lights are not active yet, on a road with very light traffic. I was cruising with my right arm extended to indicate a right turn. The car on my right (and turning left)  stopped initially to give way to the car that was approaching from in front of me to go straight ahead. That car stopped and waited for me to turn in front of it (which took a while as I was rolling with light brake pressure to turn after both cars had cleared).

The second time was last night after dark, on a roundabout. I was intending to go straight on, again slowing gently as several cars were approaching from in front. One went straight on, the second was indicating to turn right, and stopped on the roundabout for me to cross in front of him. While I appreciate the gesture, and evidence that these drivers are looking for bikes, stopping to giving way when you shouldn't does not always make the roads safer. I didn't see what happened next, but I know a car had come round the previous corner and was approaching the roundabout behind me. By the time I had confirmed it was safe for me to go in front of a car I should have given way to, the car behind me would have been close to the roundabout too, not sure whether to also go in front of the stopped car, or wait, by which time there could be more cars coming from the same way that one came.

Both times, I was on my road bike in lycra with bright lights on streets that carry far more teenagers on hybrid bikes without lights or helmets. Maybe I look more serious.

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Yes, riding around the hills over the last few weeks I've been surprised how good most drivers are. I'm not do sure about the city and suburbs. In the next 10 days or so it'll get ugly when the mad pre Christmas rush starts.

My experiences were both in the outer northern suburbs, and I felt uncomfortable being pushed to go in front of a car that the law says I should give way to.

Interestingly I have always found the drivers in and around the hills to be the most respectful of other road users (both motorised and non motorised).

I get the sense that some are more respectful when you appear 'normal' on your bike.  I mean a person riding a bike not something different from them.

I have a better experience in my lycra or work clothes, rather than just t-shirt and shorts.  Is this perhaps because I look like I ride regularly and I am hence more predictable?

There all nice to me if you give them room to pass. The relationship needs to be constructive ,respect goes both ways :). Focus on the negatives and you will only see more negatives.

peace.

I see lots of positive driving. I always try to reward it when I see it with a big smile and an obviously mouthed thank you directed at the driver. We need to be the change we want to see on the roads:) peace.

To me it's like 1/1000 drivers that are a Ahole and that's probably the ratio it is reversed, I always make clear signals, eye contact, ride defensively and a thanks wave . If you whine about the little things then so will motorist, its a minefield out there and nothing is risk free.

Obviously there are times you need to complain but let's not cry wolf at trivial things because when you need it it will be " oh cyclist syndrome". lol

No, I've had a crap week of motorist relations. 

Very probably you are experiencing a statistical variation unconnected with any behavioural change. 

Quite possibly, but we had another one today on the Gawler Wheelers ride - about six of us together in an 80km/h zone had no traffic behind so moved out of single file on the left ready to turn right behind the car coming the other way, signalling clearly. The car slowed almost to a stop before the driver realised we were not going to cross in front, and eventually got out of the way.

The only other crap driver behaviour I recall today in over 70km riding was a 4wd stopped in a bike lane to put out a "garage sale" sign.

I think overall people are becoming more aware of cyclists. The only time I notice a big change is when the TDU is on and everyone with a gripe un-packs their attitudes because they think everyone on a bike has conspired to slow them down slightly.

I agree it does seem to be getting lets hope for everyone that it stays like it

Maybe the SA Govt should print up a whole heap of flyers for those that arrive with their bikes to advise two things:

1. Where the bike assembly station is at the airport, and

2. Adopt the DRLAD approach.

Follow this up with SAPol being more vigilant with congratulating riders and penalising riders for their behaviour.

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