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Broadcaster deletes tweet after being slammed for insensitive attempt to start 'debate'...

BBC Sussex has deleted a tweet in which it asked "Who's to blame here? The cyclist or the van?" in relation to an incident in which a van driver, who was subsequently sacked, was filmed forcing a cyclist off the road.

Footage of the incident received blanket media coverage over the weekend and as we reported on Sunday, once it came to the attention of the managing director of Vidette UK Ltd, the company the van belonged to, the driver's employment was immediately terminated.

> VIDEO: Van driver forces cyclist off road; QC offers help to sue

Despite the company's firm action and apology, BBC Sussex framed the incident on Twitter this morning in a way that suggested the cyclist, who managed to remain upright and escaped without injury, may have done something wrong.

Its tweet was condemned by a number of Twitter users, including cycling campaigners, media figures and even West Midlands Police, and was later deleted - but not before a screengrab had been taken of it by several Twitter users, including the Guardian’s Peter Walker.

After the original tweet had been deleted, BBC Sussex claimed it had been trying "to stimulate debate," adding that "the wording was ill judged."

However, a number of people replying questioned why the broadcaster even felt that there was a "debate" to be had in the first place.

Here's the footage that prompted BBC Sussex to ask who was "to blame."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

28 comments

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wycombewheeler [1166 posts] 4 months ago
24 likes

next week's debate

man mugged for expensive phone or wacth - who is to blame mugger or fat cat flaunting wealth?

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes

I'm really not convinced that a debate about the rights, wrongs and methodology for using vehicles to attack other human beings is appropriate outside of special interest religious / quasi political groups using the dark web.

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steviemarco [236 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

1. Why was the cyclist riding that far over in the lane, even though there are no overtaking lines it won't stop drivers overtaking.

2. Why does the driver feel he has the right to use the van as a 'weapon' and force the cyclist off the road? A 2 ton van can do a lot more damage than a ?kg bike (unless the cyclist catches up at the lights, gets off bike and smashes chainset into face of driver) ......I've calmed down now.......

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Ramuz [300 posts] 4 months ago
11 likes

 With their Top Gear program, the BBC have a long history of promoting cycle hatred.

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esayers [50 posts] 4 months ago
15 likes
steviemarco wrote:

1. Why was the cyclist riding that far over in the lane, even though there are no overtaking lines it won't stop drivers overtaking.

 

If i thought it was unsafe for the van to overtake me I would move into the primary position.  My thought would be that hopefully this would stop a driver overtaking and if a driver did try to overtake me there, at least I have some road to move into.

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beezus fufoon [766 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:

next week's debate

man mugged for expensive phone or wacth - who is to blame mugger or fat cat flaunting wealth?

well, technically, the mugger succeeded in accomplishing his aim, so you can't really ascribe the notion of fault to a successful act (unlike your attempt to spell the word watch) :p

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

More surprising is that the BBC is still a thing.

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billymansell [20 posts] 4 months ago
20 likes

Does BBC Sussex still ask the 'who's to blame here?' question of rape and domestic violence cases in their locale or do they reserve their outdated thinking that those assualted 'were asking for it' for specific groups?

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fretters [53 posts] 4 months ago
20 likes
billymansell wrote:

Does BBC Sussex still ask the 'who's to blame here?' question of rape and domestic violence cases in their locale or do they reserve their outdated thinking that those assualted 'were asking for it' for specific groups?

d

 

indeed. Weirdly when Jeremy  Clarkson attacked that producer I don't recall them asking who's was to blame then. I mean if the producer had got some hot food for Clarkson he wouldn't have been punched, so who's  fault was that? 

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Grahamd [598 posts] 4 months ago
11 likes

Had this been a hate / race / religion... crime then I am sure the BBC would order their staff to attend a relevant course or lose their job. Either the BBC need to educate their staff or publicly sack them.

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PaulBox [669 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

How many job losses could come about as a result of this incident?

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lio [8 posts] 4 months ago
9 likes

BBC Surrey were out trawling twitter for phone-in nutcases too.

They framed it as "how can we 'share' the roads better?" but it ammounts to the same thing.  

Apparently, the BBC do seem to think that the cyclist was at fault here and should have move out into the gutter.

 

It seems like an institutional problem.

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StoopidUserName [327 posts] 4 months ago
12 likes
steviemarco wrote:

1. Why was the cyclist riding that far over in the lane, even though there are no overtaking lines it won't stop drivers overtaking.

 

Strong crosswind or moving to the centre to avoid some potholes, then absentmindedly taking his time moving back (seconds)? Done it myself, but we really are taking about a few seconds, BBC Sussex are basically saying it's ok to assault/murder based on a false pretext. They're not asking for debate, they've decided they want click bait by blaming the victim.

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Awavey [327 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
lio wrote:

BBC Surrey were out trawling twitter for phone-in nutcases too.

Well BBC Sussex & BBC Surrey used to be just a single BBC Southern Counties station, so still share alot of their resources & programming, I believe the 'Danny Pike morning show' this whole 'sharing the road' call in came from is broadcast on both stations & no doubt re-listenable in glorious iplayer quality...

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dottigirl [768 posts] 4 months ago
8 likes

The BBC has been rotten for years with regard to cyclists. Does not surprise me at all. Every facet of their programming presents cyclists in a poor light. 

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oldstrath [830 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
PaulBox wrote:

How many job losses could come about as a result of this incident?

Probably just the one, and they'll likely reinstate him next month when the fuss has died down. Since I suspect it's really a company wide systemic problem, my preferred answer would be 'all the managers at Vidette', but guess how likely that is.

It would also be nice if the forkwit who twittered thus were sacked, but since this simply reflects Tory, therefore BBC, policy...

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MrGold [6 posts] 4 months ago
11 likes

Here's an idea for the BBC, Next time ISIS affiliates drive a truck into a crowd, post the video and raise the debate "Who's to blame?"

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frogg [97 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Who's to blame ? just ask Jeremy Vines ...

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ooldbaker [122 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

A lot of people here mention blaming the "driver" of course in common with the reporting of most accidents the driver wasn't even an option. You can choose between Van or Cyclist.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1749 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

The Beeb didn't even allow the option of blaming the driver. Clearly the poor guy had nothing to do with this two-sided dispute between the cyclist and his van. I expect he was telling both of them to 'calm down' all the while.

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burtthebike [1046 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes
dottigirl wrote:

The BBC has been rotten for years with regard to cyclists. Does not surprise me at all. Every facet of their programming presents cyclists in a poor light. 

Very true, and they have for the past thirty or so years, been promoting cycle helmets and portraying cycling as incredibly dangerous, whilst refusing to examine the evidence.  And when I say "refusing" that is exactly what I mean.

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burtthebike [1046 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
PaulBox wrote:

How many job losses could come about as a result of this incident?

Hopefully, at least four: the driver, the driver's boss, the BBC employee who put out the tweet, and their boss.

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JoeSoap [3 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Just three days after BBC Surrey Tweeted that the van driver was filmed 'tormenting' a cyclist!

https://twitter.com/bbcsurrey/status/860765975792291840

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JonD [473 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
steviemarco wrote:

1. Why was the cyclist riding that far over in the lane, even though there are no overtaking lines it won't stop drivers overtaking.

They often do. Double solid lines can be a mixed bag, sometimes overtaking is a liability in terms of overtaking vehicles of a similar speed (presumably leading to the 10mph rule), sometimes its in the case of overtaking anything (and he's not cycling that slowly).

There's also a 10mph issue - if the vehicle you want to overtake is travelling at less than (or at ? - I forget) 10mph then the solid line can be crossed. Tho if it's done unsafely that'd still probably be an issue.

Re a comment elsewhere - looks like the cyclist pulls back across pretty doon after the solid line on his side ends, not easy to spot exactly 'cos the vans on his shoulder.

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Chris Hayes [161 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

This was pure malice, but with the growing number of vans on the road I am surprised that the Government hasn't  introduced a specialist licence for this vehicle category.  It's absurd that you can pass your test in a mini and then get into one of these things without any further instruction.  Come on Government, you're missing a trick here raising easy money.....What about a petition?

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Check this out. From Houston Texas no less! A close pass scanner. Helps them collect evidence. WMP should get these and promote them to other forces wink

//www.houstonpublicmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/10163023/C3FT-1376x1032.jpg)

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/03/10/191333/houst...

 

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Dutchman [1 post] 4 months ago
7 likes

In Holland the van driver would be prosecuted for attempted manslaughter. Incidents like this are very rare here though as every van driver is a cyclist too.

And no broadcaster here would ask such a stupid question. Long way to go for Britain to become a cycling nation.

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nbrus [459 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
JonD wrote:

... Re a comment elsewhere - looks like the cyclist pulls back across pretty doon after the solid line on his side ends, not easy to spot exactly 'cos the vans on his shoulder.

I spotted that too ... he pulls back in by a good 12 inches.