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Old 09-21-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
JGT OP
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Postive reinforcement for good car drivers

A new thing I have started to do when riding:

When the driver of a car waiting to turn in front of me (either left or right) does the right thing and (a) notices me and then (b) does not pull out in front of me, I give a friendly head nod and (if safety permits) a little fingers-off-the-grip wave.

It is well known that positive reinforcement is a much better training method than punishment, but often we don't reward good behavior and concentrate instead on criticizing the bad.

Maybe giving a little reward to those drivers who do act right will encourage them to do this again. I may not ever encounter the same driver twice on the road, so I don't know if I'm really making things safer for myself by doing this. But perhaps it will influence them in their next interaction with a motorcyclist.

So consider this when you have a chance to let a motorist know that they have done the right thing, even if it is only what they should be doing anyway to follow the law. If it happens often enough, it could make the roads safer for all motorcyclists.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Ditto

I do this when riding my motorcycle but, also when pedaling my bike on the road, and even when I drive my cage. I focus on the positive for 2 reasons...

-positive reinforcement like you say and,

-keeps me in a positive frame of mind rather than getting all wound up over poor drivers

So, Ditto
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #3
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I do this myself in the hopes...

kind of a sad commentary that it's necessary to reward(acknowledge) someone for doing what they should be doing anyway.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGT View Post
A new thing I have started to do when riding:

When the driver of a car waiting to turn in front of me (either left or right) does the right thing and (a) notices me and then (b) does not pull out in front of me,.

more often than not,when I am in this situation of a car not pulling out in front of me, I agree that the driver may be being courteous, but are giving up their right of way, when clearly I am the vehicle that should yield

I prefer that drivers simply obey traffic protocol
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:00 PM   #5
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Do this as well, including waving to those that move out of the left lane so faster traffic can pass.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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Oh, maybe I wasn't clear about that in my original post. I'm saying when I do have the right of way, but they don't turn left into my path and force evasive action on my part. That's when I give them the nod.

So it's just acknowledging them doing what they are legally required to do. But thanking them for it all the same.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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I've started to give a to people that don't try to kill me also.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #8
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I do a similar thing: When a car is tailgating me (usually younger women), I wave them back with my left arm. If they drop back to a safe distance, I wave a "thank you". If they don't, like some asshole this week-end who gave me the hands in the air (speed up sign) he got the finger. (I was already doing the speed limit +5-10) He then got caught at the next light. I pulled up next to him but he wouldn't look at me.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
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I forget which leadership book it was, but it said to "Catch employees in the act of doing something good". They will be more positively affected by positive reinforcement.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:26 PM   #10
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I just let the missus on the back flash them.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:57 AM   #11
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Yes, certainly won't hurt
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSRT View Post
Do this as well, including waving to those that move out of the left lane so faster traffic can pass.
Me too. Reward good behavior even if it is stuff they already should be doing anyway.

I do negatively reinforce idiots who refuse to get out of the passing lane with a head shake or a wtf gesture with the hands. I'm thinking of plastering a full size traffic sign on my riding jacket's back that says "keep right except to pass".
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 390beretta
I do a similar thing: When a car is tailgating me (usually younger women), I wave them back with my left arm....
I gave up on doing stuff like this. You usually get "WTF, speed up a-hole" look or get the finger in return. If I'm in the left lane and am being tail-gated, I'll move over and slow down. If I'm in the right lane, I'll just slow down until they decide to pass. I've had enough of battling with those idiots.

The positive reinforcement thing is intriguing though.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by the_sandman_454 View Post
Me too. Reward good behavior even if it is stuff they already should be doing anyway.

I do negatively reinforce idiots who refuse to get out of the passing lane with a head shake or a wtf gesture with the hands. I'm thinking of plastering a full size traffic sign on my riding jacket's back that says "keep right except to pass".

I really like this idea. :
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:33 AM   #15
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Positive reinforcement is an interesting idea, I will have to start doing this. I have a new strategy for the tailgaters that seems to be working, basically it is the closer you get the slower I ride. Most drivers seem to figure this out fairly quickly and back off.
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