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Monash University survey finds half of motorists rate cyclists as less than human

A Monash University study has found more than half of motorists see cyclists as less than human, comparing them to cockroaches and mosquitos.

Researchers interviewed 442 people and found more than half of non-cyclists rated cyclists as not human.

Monash University Lead author Dr Alexa Delbosc told Neil Mitchell the ratings made motorists more likely to admit the negative interactions they’d had with cyclists.

“We set up a scale and were a little surprised to find that half of motorists don’t pick 100 per cent human for cyclists,” Dr Delbosc said.

“There’s a lot of tension between cyclists and motorists these days and it’s easier to justify anger and frustration against a group if you don’t think of them as being as human as yourself.

“You can argue how serious they are, but the scary part was if they didn’t see cyclists as human they were more likely to admit they’d done things like deliberately cutting off a cyclist, deliberately driving close to a cyclist even throwing objects at cyclists.

“They might be joking, but that joking can get dangerous.”

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