- This came up on my FB Feed and has raised some debate…..
You know, just the other day I was thinking about why it is I’m courteous to other road users, particularly those more vulnerable ones like pedestrians and cyclists. Although I could pass it off as being because I’m an A1 nice guy, I decided it’s actually just because I’m a self-centered selfish twunt. I can’t be arsed with having my day messed up with the inconvenience of having knocked someone over. Simple self preservation.Posted 4 years agocr500domSubscriber
(Cycling blog, response to another cycling road death report)
I do agree with the sentiment, but no idea how to change the deeply ingrained attitude of even my car driving mates…. 🙁Posted 4 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
Bez writes very well – calm and factual but underneath it all you can sense the screams of frustration and anger.
He wrote that piece (linked to above) in response to a news story on a local paper website which included this gem in amongst the comments:
Whilst this is not aimed at this particular cyclist in any way as I do not know the facts, and nobody deserves what happened, respect has to be earned. That wont happen all the time a large proportion of cyclists simply regard road laws as inapplicable to them. Jumping red lights, up onto the pavement, between lines of traffic switching from one side to the other, not using supplied cycle paths (happens all the time on Watling St/Sovereign Boulevard in Gillingham) No, not all cyclists by any means, and most ‘serious’ cyclists are all to aware of the dangers, but definitely a big enough proportion to give the rest a bad name.
I almost created an account to reply about drivers needing to earn the respect of cyclists by not speeding, using a mobile, parking illegally, doing dangerous manoeuvres, driving while uninsured/drunk/DQ’d, driving unroadworthy vehicles and, most importantly, NOT KILLING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR!!
Come back to me when that’s happened and I’ll show you some respect, until then I’d quite like to live.
But Bez’s response is far better. 🙂Posted 4 years agoBezSubscriber
Thanks. Most kind.
If people’s attitude troubles you, I’d like to make you question the legal system that allows such attitudes to pervade and persist. Changing the law is easier than changing many people’s prejudices.
If the cases linked from there make you despair, why not ask your MP to pass on your concerns? And/or contact the sentencing Council; it’s an opportune time:
Posted 4 years ago
Sentencing Council to review road offences:http://t.co/gHW4Ok8GL1
— Bez (@beztweets) October 9, 2013kcrMember
I thought Michael Hutchinson expressed it very simply on Twitter:
Michael Hutchinson ?@Doctor_Hutch 2 Sep
#GetBritainCycling The old prejudics. Why is my right to safety contingent on whether or not someone I’ve never met rides through a light?
Unfortunately in Scotland we have just had the £420K government sponsored “Nice Way Code” campaign which was entirely based around this bogus respect argument. When the authorities are coming out with the same nonsense as the idiots in the comment sections, you know that there is a mountain to climb.
We need to tackle these sort of arguments head on. 25,000 annual KSIs in the UK caused by motorists, motorists responsible for 95% of accidents resulting from red light jumping in Scotland, motorists responsible for 70% of incidents resulting in serious injury to cyclists in Edinburgh between 2004 and 2010. Who needs to be earning some respect?
Of course, even if every cyclist in the country was a paragon of virtue, it would make no difference to the attitude of the “cyclists don’t do themselves any favours” brigade. The respect argument is just a convenient excuse to avoid any responsibility for the safety of more vulnerable road users.Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
the “cyclists don’t do themselves any favours” brigade
Sometimes I don’t think it’s about empathy and respect, deep down the vast majority of people know what’s morally correct. We don’t need the Dalai Lama to teach compassion to know that life is precious. What I think we’re seeing is the defense mechanisms of people under space pressure, busy lives and fighting for a square foot too often is over-riding that respect that we’d have if we were in calmer places.
Whenever things go wrong, people look to blame others rather than look at themselves. From The Apprentice to an RTA, same thing. The average person relates to other drivers more than a minority like motorcyclists or cyclists and defending others helps them defend themselves.
Good blog though, points put across well.
You never see the levels of aggression on the Tube, train or walking the streets, that you see in cars.
True. Because then we’d have to back it up face to face and very little is ever worth a row over. Hiding in a box does that to some people. Most of us at times maybe?Posted 4 years ago
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