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Fiat Palio Commercial Made Fun of the Difficult Relationship Between Bicycles and Cars

There are some critical road rules that any road user should know. The more fragile users have a preference, meaning that car drivers must care for motorcycle riders, who must protect bicycle riders, and all of them must pay careful attention to pedestrians. Another one is that you should keep a minimum distance from bike riders when driving. What if the bikers do not respect that distance? This is what a 1999 commercial from South Africa showed.
Fiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in traffic 13 photos
Fiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in trafficFiat joked about how bicycle riders and drivers can have a difficult relationship in traffic
The commercial is a funny example of how respect is a fundamental step in traffic, regardless of what you are driving or riding. The more fragile road users often take for granted that they have a preference and act as if no one else were around. That is a bad policy, as this advertisement presents.

At the time, the Fiat Palio had just arrived in South Africa. Developed and manufactured in Brazil, Fiat’s Project 178 was exported to multiple countries. You must imagine how happy this driver was with his B-segment hatchback – at least until the bicycle rider got close to his car and used it as a support to keep standing.

We have no idea what the biker was listening to with his Walkman – something most readers must have no clue about (google it if you don’t). However, we’d bet it was “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. The Palio driver got visibly irritated with the biker's attitude. Little did he know he would do that again at the next traffic light.

This time, the Fiat driver tried to warn the bike rider how unhappy he was by honking. It did not help: either the biker did not listen to it, or he did and pretended not to, pushing his earphones even deeper into his ears. Well, the Palio driver decided he would not take that any longer.

At the third traffic light, he just watches the bike riders approach. With perfect timing, the Fiat reverses precisely when the bike rider is trying to lean on it, which makes him go to the ground in a glimpse. Again, a funny situation to remind all road users to be respectful to each other.

Surprisingly, the video’s first comment comes from Simon Henderson, who claims to be the cyclist in the commercial. Although we have no way to verify that, we wonder what reason he would have to lie, so we will take his story as accurate.

According to Henderson, the commercial was filmed in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, South Africa, in December 1999.

“It was a scorching hot day, but I had to wear a long kit to cover the padding. I did my own fall, no mats on the floor. The casting agency was 'The Selection Team,' and I was contracted to them. David Lee was the driver of the car, and I rode a Trek for this advert. Good memories.”

Now you can also have them by watching the commercial and sharing Henderson’s story – especially with those you know who behave just like the character he played in this commercial.

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