Abuse of cyclists “almost like racial discrimination,” claims AA President

Hatred leads to conflicts and casualties - it's a road safety issue says AA's top man

by Simon_MacMichael   November 16, 2012  

London cyclist approaching junction.jpg

AA President Edmund King has said that hatred of cyclists in the press and on social media is “almost like racial discrimination.” Earlier this week, the man who heads the UK’s biggest motoring organisation had shown delegates at a road safety conference the extent of some of the vitriol directed at cyclists on Twitter.

Speaking later to The Times, he said that motorists aged 18 to 24 in particular had a very low opinion of cyclists: “It appears that there is this minority that have a problem with cyclists and we have to do more to address that. It is almost like racial discrimination, there is no good reason for it,” Mr King explained.

“It is a road safety issue. If you have got a minority of drivers and a minority of cyclists who hate each other they will take dangerous risks on the road and that can lead to more conflict and more accidents.”

Earlier this week, Mr King had called for an end to the ‘Two Tribes’ mentality that pervades much of the discussion about the relationship between cyclists and drivers, and that was the central theme of his address to the National Road Safety Conference in London on Wednesday.

Mr King showed delegates some tweets from the CycleHatred Twitter feed, which focuses on cycle safety and regularly retweets hostile posts from other users about cyclists. Examples of posts retweeted in recent days include:

@iamrhysjones Really got a problem with cyclists this week. One just stopped next to me at the lights and I got him with my windscreen washers. #dripdrip
@ChloeA91 The cyclist I just followed to work was asking to be injured. Almost hit him just to teach him a lesson #sillyprick

@Nifty_Things Was stood by my bike putting my hemet on and a driver stopped their car and swore at me. What a lovely woman... #cyclehatred
@kfa_12 Cyclists get off the road, pay road tax or stay in your lane at least , don't ride in the middle you are the bottom of the road chain!!!!!

In some cases, police are copied in on the tweets:

@brumpolice RT @roxywantsu: My work is done. I've wound a few ppl up today. Knocked a cyclist over and aggravated the living day lights...

As the tweeter behind CycleHatred points out, the views are extreme ones and probably not reflective of the majority of drivers.

Yet while the incidents that saw Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton both hospitalised last week within 24 hours of each other both resulted in some sections of the media highlighting cycle safety, they also led to some formulaic anti-cyclist rants in the national press.

In its coverage of Mr King’s remarks, trade website BikeBiz highlights comments made by Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath in the latest issue of The Psychologist:

“A report from the Transport Research Laboratory and University of Strathclyde a few years ago suggested that there’s some classic social psychology at work here – cyclists represent an outgroup such that the usual outgroup effects are seen, particularly overgeneralisation of negative behaviour and attributes – ‘They all ride through red lights all the time’. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that something of this sort is going on.

“However, there has to be more to it than just this. For a long time I wondered if the outgroup status of cyclists was compounded by two other known social psychological factors: norms and majority vs. minority groups. Not only are cyclists an outgroup, they’re also a minority outgroup. Moreover, they are engaging in an activity that is deemed slightly inappropriate in a culture that views driving as normative and desirable and, arguably, views cycling as anti-conventional and possibly even infantile.

“But even adding these factors into the mix does not explain all the anger that cyclists experience. It’s easy to identify other minority outgroups whose behaviour similarly challenges social norms but who do not get verbally and physically attacked like cyclists do: vegetarians, for example. So there’s clearly one or more important variables that we’ve not identified yet.”

Cyclists, of course, are not a defined group in the way that ethnic minorities are, so there would appear to be little prospect of police taking action against generalised tweets making anti-cycling comments as they do in some cases of racial abuse, for example.

At the same time, no national newspaper editor would publish a piece by a columnist in which the object of their rage was an ethnic minority, rather than a broad and significant section of the population who simply choose one mode of transport over – or, or more likely, among – others.

Until the authorities and those responsible for determining what goes into newspapers change their attitudes, however, it’s difficult to see an end to the barrage of abuse.
 

36 user comments

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I agree notfastenough. The trouble is that the government closed the department that dealt with public information films just over a year ago and it shows no signs of coming back.

We all used to laugh at some of the films but it's seems pretty obvious to me that instructional films need to be shown more often at cinemas and TV channels to show how cyclists and the road ahead should be negotiated safely.

Sometimes The 'nanny state' is just what is needed if it's got to the point where people are behaving like idiots and saying "Well we've never been told.."

I've been riding bikes for 42 years and driving cars for 30 years and I've noticed the decay of safe motorway driving over the past 15 years to the point where undertaking is normal and indicating to change lanes is seen as optional and even a bit fussy.

They should bring that nice blonde haired bloke in the tracksuit who used to do the 'Clunk Click Every trip' film. You don't seem to hear about him these days....

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [933 posts]
16th November 2012 - 18:30

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I'm going to make one comment on this one, then shut up. I wish AA would also do the same. This is just giving people a chance to jump on the bandwagon.

My comment is about the racial part of it and only applying to "ethnic minorities". This infact is not the case.

I was out with friends on night, one of the females in our group was Polish and we were having a laugh and joke. I was ribbing her about the Polish builders.....etc. She said something in Polish, which I got the just of and I said these exact words. You f*cking Polish bitch. Jokingly and it was all fine. That's just they way we were with each other.

Next morning, a chap at the door, the police. I was taken to the station and charged with racial abuse, because another Polish person in the vicinity had heard my comments and reported it to the police. It went right to court and I now have a criminal record for racial abuse. For something I said to a friend Thinking

I wouldn't class Polish people as an ethnic minority, would you?

So racial abuse can come in many forms apparently not just towards minority groups.....

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posted by Gkam84 [8151 posts]
16th November 2012 - 18:31

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Territorial and dominance behaviours are primitive factors in the hatred we see from some people towards cyclists. Teanage members of street gangs kill each other for these reasons.

Many motorists sealed inside their vehicles see cyclists as interlopers on their territory. They are seen as a weak, low status, minority group who have no right to impede the motorist.

This is just primitive, uncivilised behaviour and it is encouraged by the attitude of those in authority who do not consider it to be a matter of importance, since most of them are motorists and sympathise with them.

posted by Fifth Gear [3 posts]
16th November 2012 - 18:43

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Dead right, Mr. Gear.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [202 posts]
16th November 2012 - 19:05

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FatFreddie wrote:
I've been thinking for a while that if, at the next census, we all put our religion down as Cyclist we may get some protection from the religious discrimination laws.

Can't hurt to try. Will do Wink

posted by Bird On A Bike [8 posts]
16th November 2012 - 19:38

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That's a good idea, but when is the next census? 2021? Thinking

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8151 posts]
16th November 2012 - 19:56

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Gkam, I agree that's bad. My family and I are Chinese descent, you should hear the banter with my niece. If her Iranian friend is present, outsiders would be even more shocked, but that's just the humour.

However, I think the AA saying this has more impact than from cycling groups, and I respect Edmund King for it.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
16th November 2012 - 20:45

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Just wanted to share : I had some nasty abuse today from a guy in an Astra behind me swearing loudly . The reason: I was allowing a doors width as I overtook a line of 3 cars. Why can't these people understand? I agree there is some sort of tribal thing going on but also there's an awful lot of plain and simple stupidity and lack of empathy out there. The thing is we behave in a different way to a car faced with the same situation. So drivers have no idea of the dangers we face and how we have to behave to avoid those dangers.

It's like I ride through a set of lights every day. About half the traffic turns left so I come out of the cycle lane just before the lights and merge with the cars. I can easily keep up with the cars and I avoid the left hook side swipe accident from cars not seeing me turning left. I get abuse for that too and I never actually slow anyone down. The problem is the abuse ' trains' cyclists without my bloody minded attitude ( the majority of cyclists) to behave in a dangerous way in such situations.

posted by wyadvd [112 posts]
16th November 2012 - 21:43

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In my experience, hatred of cyclists is exactly what racism is - the identification of a group you can bully and be applauded for doing so.
It's possible to make jokes about race and note racial differences without being hurtful, so long as it's not meant AS hurtful. Being hurtful or unpleasant to people is bad, whatever the 'race' or 'religion' excuse.
Racists manage to make their hatred cringingly clear with terms like 'Our coloured bretheren' etc. These people are, of course, vile.
It's not words or race which is really the issue, it's hatred.
In just the same way, a bully will pick on another for their haircut, their briefcase, their race or the car their dad drives. None of these are really the issue, it's the deficiency in the bully that makes them do this that is the problem.
As a long-term cyclist, I'm sure I used to be treated with contempt by drivers back in the '70's but I never actually felt any actual hatred.
Drivers were selfish, inconsiderate, dangerous or drunk but I never had anyone shout obscenities to me or actually attempt to kill me 'for a laugh'.
Nowadays, this happens all the time and many 'comedians' and public pundits get easy laughs from their open comments encouraging violence to cyclists.
Why the change?
I have five immediate theories:

1:Congestion:
There are more people and more people have cars. However many roads we make, this will only get worse. Driving is no longer the pleasure it once was - time was traffic jams were annoying but there were gaps of 'driving' in between. These periods of enjoying driving a car (The thing car adverts still promise) are pretty much gone for motorists and there's a cognitive dissonance between the 'Pleasure' that the adverts and things like Top Gear promise and the reality. Motorists always did tend to aggression and irritation (See old cartoons for confirmation) but now it's a constant. They can't pick on lorries (Now more common) or tractors (Though they'd like to), but cyclists - ideal.
2: Guilt:
Whereas once having a car was a statusd symbol, now it's a 'neccesity'. There's no sense of achievement. Worse - whether they believe it or not, motorists know they're blamed for congestion, pollution and climate change. They'll argue they don't believe this but this still lies at the back of their brains. This is one reason one of the most commonly cited complaints about cyclists is that they're 'Smug'. To be upset about someone because they're doing less damage than you and they take some pleasure in this is incredibly twisted.
In amongst this is disguised envy - how DARE that cyclist move through a traffic jam? How DARE they look like they're enjoying their commute? How DARE they be healthy and sport a better body than mine? How DARE they use my road of suffering and personal loathing as their own private gym?!
3: Culture:
Our culture is more hostile. Whereas once Game Shows involved someone winning a Kenwood Chef (Ask yer mum), it probably now involves someone eating spiders. Once comedies involved someone losing their trousers in front of a neighbour . Now it's about them losing their hands. Violence has always been with us in films, but never at the level when the mainstream is providing violence-porn. We now have a media that tells us to admire the successful, however vile they are and despise those below us. Three decades ago, no politician would be insisting that it was a 'crime' to work together for the common good, now it's basic policy. In a world in which everyone kicks those below them and 4x4's are sold on the basis of fear (As an aid to bullying others on the road), cyclists are the inevitable prey.
4: Fashion (Or custom):
Once, most people cycled or took the bus. Everyone knew a person that cycled. Now a cyclists is an oddity. Car adverts - no longer able to portray driving as a pleasure - become ever more surreal and, at least, normalise the act of Driving. There are no cycling adverts in mainstream media.
Whilst cyclists are becoming ever-more common (Thank god), motorists now see them as some alien race with whom no-one can relate. This makes them 'scary'.
5: Politics:
Our media is increasingly run for profit - hence the determination to kill the BBC. The media insists that 'society' is dead. The notion of a road as a public good has disappeared. It's now seen as 'something I pay for. Something I own. The oft-shouted "Get off my road, freeloader" ignores that roads are maintained by tax from everyone and that it's the damage caused by motorists (And safeguards against that) that puts the tax up is never considered. Neither is the point that the haulage industry pays very little tax at all, and damages the roads more than anyone. In fact, we all subsidise the haulage industry from our tax... but no driver is going to be trying to cut up a juggernaut "To give him a bit of a scare".
Conclusion:
If the culture of hatred of cyclists is allowed to continue, deaths will increase and cycling will die out as a means of transport. We need legal rights of protection just as did the coloured community of South America in the 1960's.
The only way to obtain this is by appealing to the law.

We need active protests and a proper campaign.
Only then can we free those poor crippled motorists from their metal cages.

posted by Phytoramediant [23 posts]
16th November 2012 - 22:42

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Are 18 to 24 drivers not also responsible for a large proportion of RTAs? If so, it would seem more about their general attitude behind the wheel rather than any particular antipathy towards cyclists.

posted by paulfg42 [355 posts]
16th November 2012 - 23:19

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Phytoramediant wrote:
In my experience, hatred of cyclists is exactly what racism is - the identification of a group you can bully and be applauded for doing so.
It's possible to make jokes about race and note racial differences without being hurtful, so long as it's not meant AS hurtful. Being hurtful or unpleasant to people is bad, whatever the 'race' or 'religion' excuse.
Racists manage to make their hatred cringingly clear with terms like 'Our coloured bretheren' etc. These people are, of course, vile.
It's not words or race which is really the issue, it's hatred.
In just the same way, a bully will pick on another for their haircut, their briefcase, their race or the car their dad drives. None of these are really the issue, it's the deficiency in the bully that makes them do this that is the problem.
As a long-term cyclist, I'm sure I used to be treated with contempt by drivers back in the '70's but I never actually felt any actual hatred.
Drivers were selfish, inconsiderate, dangerous or drunk but I never had anyone shout obscenities to me or actually attempt to kill me 'for a laugh'.
Nowadays, this happens all the time and many 'comedians' and public pundits get easy laughs from their open comments encouraging violence to cyclists.
Why the change?
I have five immediate theories:

1:Congestion:
There are more people and more people have cars. However many roads we make, this will only get worse. Driving is no longer the pleasure it once was - time was traffic jams were annoying but there were gaps of 'driving' in between. These periods of enjoying driving a car (The thing car adverts still promise) are pretty much gone for motorists and there's a cognitive dissonance between the 'Pleasure' that the adverts and things like Top Gear promise and the reality. Motorists always did tend to aggression and irritation (See old cartoons for confirmation) but now it's a constant. They can't pick on lorries (Now more common) or tractors (Though they'd like to), but cyclists - ideal.
2: Guilt:
Whereas once having a car was a statusd symbol, now it's a 'neccesity'. There's no sense of achievement. Worse - whether they believe it or not, motorists know they're blamed for congestion, pollution and climate change. They'll argue they don't believe this but this still lies at the back of their brains. This is one reason one of the most commonly cited complaints about cyclists is that they're 'Smug'. To be upset about someone because they're doing less damage than you and they take some pleasure in this is incredibly twisted.
In amongst this is disguised envy - how DARE that cyclist move through a traffic jam? How DARE they look like they're enjoying their commute? How DARE they be healthy and sport a better body than mine? How DARE they use my road of suffering and personal loathing as their own private gym?!
3: Culture:
Our culture is more hostile. Whereas once Game Shows involved someone winning a Kenwood Chef (Ask yer mum), it probably now involves someone eating spiders. Once comedies involved someone losing their trousers in front of a neighbour . Now it's about them losing their hands. Violence has always been with us in films, but never at the level when the mainstream is providing violence-porn. We now have a media that tells us to admire the successful, however vile they are and despise those below us. Three decades ago, no politician would be insisting that it was a 'crime' to work together for the common good, now it's basic policy. In a world in which everyone kicks those below them and 4x4's are sold on the basis of fear (As an aid to bullying others on the road), cyclists are the inevitable prey.
4: Fashion (Or custom):
Once, most people cycled or took the bus. Everyone knew a person that cycled. Now a cyclists is an oddity. Car adverts - no longer able to portray driving as a pleasure - become ever more surreal and, at least, normalise the act of Driving. There are no cycling adverts in mainstream media.
Whilst cyclists are becoming ever-more common (Thank god), motorists now see them as some alien race with whom no-one can relate. This makes them 'scary'.
5: Politics:
Our media is increasingly run for profit - hence the determination to kill the BBC. The media insists that 'society' is dead. The notion of a road as a public good has disappeared. It's now seen as 'something I pay for. Something I own. The oft-shouted "Get off my road, freeloader" ignores that roads are maintained by tax from everyone and that it's the damage caused by motorists (And safeguards against that) that puts the tax up is never considered. Neither is the point that the haulage industry pays very little tax at all, and damages the roads more than anyone. In fact, we all subsidise the haulage industry from our tax... but no driver is going to be trying to cut up a juggernaut "To give him a bit of a scare".
Conclusion:
If the culture of hatred of cyclists is allowed to continue, deaths will increase and cycling will die out as a means of transport. We need legal rights of protection just as did the coloured community of South America in the 1960's.
The only way to obtain this is by appealing to the law.

We need active protests and a proper campaign.
Only then can we free those poor crippled motorists from their metal cages.


I am so happy there are some eloquent people left in this world. Very well put

posted by wyadvd [112 posts]
16th November 2012 - 23:51

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Mercuryone and Notfastenough have made some fine points.
Notfastenough's point of subjective perception is well made and Mercuryone's point about public information broadcasts is really important.
The term 'Nanny state' was probably coined by the Conservative British MP Iain Macleod in '65 to decry safeguards for the Working Class and has been spread by papers like the Daily Mail and anyone who wishes to abolish safeguards or the welfare State.
People who use the term are the first to sue if their name is impugned or if anything disadvantages them. If it's helping someone else it's the 'Nanny State', if it's helping yourself it's 'My rights'.
The replacement of Legal Aid (Which did a useful job of helping people fight personal injustice) has been replaced by NoWin NoFee, which allows companies to make money from idiots who sue Councils (But never Big business) for mistakes they themselves made because they were idiots and closes down many things because of the insurance risk. The Health and Safety Executive is very opposed to NoWin NoFee and regularly points out that it's very keen on kids playing conkers, learning to fall down grassy slopes etc. This, when allied to sensible 'Don't be a pratt' public information broadcasts lessens the number of accidents.
NoWin NoFee will not help you if you're a cyclist. On the contrary, you'll probably get fined for damaging someone's paintwork.
We might be able to do without that track-suited man from the '70's, just as we could do without the '70's dubbing that now make those mini-films so risible, but the advice would be very handy in saving lives.
Whenever I'm cut up by a motorist as they shout "Get off my ****ing road!" I remember the '70's infomercial where a driver is torn off a strip for not giving a cyclist adequate space. Were this advert to be remade today, it would save lives.
But, what government would legislate for that when we could have yet another TRULY awful advert in which some actor says "If you can stage an accident, we can use it as a pretext to rip off your Council and send you a cut of the profits"?
Plainly, Big Business is not in the Cyclists interest.

posted by Phytoramediant [23 posts]
17th November 2012 - 0:16

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Loads of insightful and intelligent comments in here. And I think everyone's agreed for once. Is that a first?

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1941 posts]
17th November 2012 - 1:11

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@OldRidgeback I think you may be right.

nige

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posted by formereve [65 posts]
17th November 2012 - 1:43

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What a absolutely fantastic article and series of comments. It as if you've all been walking around in my head, listening in on my thoughts during my commutes this last 6 months. I genuinely thought I was the only person thinking this way but some of these comments have been such eloquent distillations of my own internal musings it's all a little perturbing.

I agree EK's comments are a massive progression and hope he catalyses some positive change in the debate. Next we need to get the TopGear mentality moving in the right direction; more Richard Hammond winning challenges on two wheels and that sort of positive promotion as unfortunately that's how the 18-25 year old demographic are educated.

posted by mrhallorann [18 posts]
17th November 2012 - 1:54

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Been saying for years cyclist abuse should be classed as a hate crime.
Just sub the word cyclist for Gay/Jew/Muslim/etc... and it stands out a mile!!!

posted by mrchrispy [266 posts]
17th November 2012 - 2:24

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Cyclist/Gay/Jew/Muslim - I'm drawing the Venn diagram now.

David Bowie agrees with me

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1050 posts]
17th November 2012 - 2:51

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A Venn diagram......If you start to put cyclist's into categories, you will end up with something looks like one of these

http://research.stowers-institute.org/mcm/venny4.png
http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v43/n2/images/ng.736-F3.jpg

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8151 posts]
17th November 2012 - 4:31

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Great comments.

Motorists fear of looking bad, trendiness to hate cyclists, 'bikeism', envy of cyclists freedom, and straight out macho aggression, yeah all of that. I have been assaulted twice in London (I mean punched in the face) both times being 'taught a lesson'. I wasn't the one driving the wrong way down a one-way street (same one, both times). Both times young men who basically wanted to piss on me in displays of Alpha maledom. Do not underestimate the need of a young man to be top dog!

The only thing I would add is that drivers just don't understand what it's like to have that 1.5 tonnes of metal do something entirely unexpected. It's like being charged by a rhino, so, no surprises, we get a little upset and will, in that moment, do anything to protect ourselves. Mostly swear like a trooper and try and smack the car with our hand. The driver thinks we are over-reacting, and because they are *inside* the rhino can't see the danger.

For the record Polish people in the Uk are an ethnic minority and are subject to abuse and misunderstanding - they certainly are in my part of london at any rate, though being given a criminal record for joking with friends seems over the top.

A

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posted by alotronic [231 posts]
17th November 2012 - 12:57

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The main problem with 'education' is that the vast majority of dangerous and violent acts I see when out on my bike are committed by people to whom explaining the intricacies of driving, respect for others, and sharing the road would be a fairly tall order. It would be more akin to trying to teach quantum mechanics to a cat*, than how to call 0800 DUMBASS to vote for xfactor.

*Excepting, perhaps, Schrodinger's cat. Wink

posted by Matt_S [178 posts]
17th November 2012 - 14:10

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It's funny that in a 21st century any idiot in a national paper can insult you because you chose to ride a bicycle and dress appropriately but taking a mickey out of someone's beliefs in fairy tales about Jesus or Muhammad can land you with a criminal record.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [165 posts]
17th November 2012 - 16:06

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Kudos for shoe-horning schrodingers cat onto a cycling site!

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
17th November 2012 - 19:16

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MercuryOne wrote:
I agree notfastenough. The trouble is that the government closed the department that dealt with public information films just over a year ago and it shows no signs of coming back.

We all used to laugh at some of the films but it's seems pretty obvious to me that instructional films need to be shown more often at cinemas and TV channels to show how cyclists and the road ahead should be negotiated safely.

Couldn't agree more !

Remomber the "Think Bike" ads ? Got the message across in my view. Something like that for cyclists would be a step in the right direction

posted by Littlesox [89 posts]
17th November 2012 - 19:38

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Brilliant posts form Phytoramediant and others. Aligns with what I've been thinking for ages. Anyone who has posted videos of errant, bullying drivers on YouTube - as have I - and experienced the vile retorts from self righteous motorists will be in no doubt as to how extreme anti-cyclist sentiment has become.

TiNuts's picture

posted by TiNuts [92 posts]
19th November 2012 - 18:13

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"At the same time, no national newspaper editor would publish a piece by a columnist in which the object of their rage was an ethnic minority, rather than a broad and significant section of the population who simply choose one mode of transport over – or, or more likely, among – others."

James Martin writes a motoring column for UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday. In 2009, Martin wrote in his column that he deliberately drove an electric Tesla Roadster in a manner that startled two cyclists causing a “look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge”.

I have now given up cycling on British roads. Sad

SustranSoftie

posted by Sustransoftie [7 posts]
19th November 2012 - 20:00

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OldRidgeback wrote:
Loads of insightful and intelligent comments in here. And I think everyone's agreed for once. Is that a first?

Funny you should say that OldRidgeback - was just reading this and thinking it was the least argumentative and unified group of postings I've ever seen on this site.

Not quite sure what to do with myself...no stupid ideas to contend with...no insults to respond to...

Better start the ball rolling - you're all f*%@kers! Wink

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
20th November 2012 - 14:49

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Gkam84 wrote:

I was out with friends on night, one of the females in our group was Polish and we were having a laugh and joke. I was ribbing her about the Polish builders.....etc. She said something in Polish, which I got the just of and I said these exact words. You f*cking Polish bitch. Jokingly and it was all fine. That's just they way we were with each other.

Next morning, a chap at the door, the police. I was taken to the station and charged with racial abuse, because another Polish person in the vicinity had heard my comments and reported it to the police. It went right to court and I now have a criminal record for racial abuse. For something I said to a friend Thinking

The insidious "3rd party offence". It's an obnoxious and ridiculous law. If I was a copper, and I had a phone call saying "I just overheard a private conversation and one person said something to another person and I was offended. The person involved wasn't, but I am", my response would be, should be, "mind your own fucking business, it's nothing to do with you". However, the police and courts are hamstrung by these ridiculous laws, and persecute innocent people in normal situations and let real criminals get away with real crimes where people have been genuinely physically and psychologically affected with a "there there, you run along now and don't let it happen again" attitude. Added to that the idiotic idea that the govenrment are going to have a "mentor" waiting at prison gates to help released prisoners "find there way back into society" just beggars belief. The government are so out of touch with reality it's untrue. Where do they get these ideas from?

But back to the topic. It's not only when you're on the bike that this happens. Me and the missus were abused on our jog tonight. Completely unnecessarily. We were on foot. On a path. And in no-one's way. It's not just car drivers and cyclists. It's retarded scumbags against anyone any everyone else, especially if they're doing something that aforementioned moron is incapable of doing. And I believe, unfortunately, it's unlikely to improve unless we have a sea-change of attitude towards what we consider to be the societal and cultural norm in this country. And, as I said, we're so entrenched with selfishness and laziness now, it's not going to happen...

carlosjenno's picture

posted by carlosjenno [30 posts]
20th November 2012 - 21:57

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Wear an Incredible Hulk cycling jersey be about the same size as him and you soon get left alone. But kudos for Edmund King on this one lets just hope he keeps talking about it.

posted by theincrediblebike [41 posts]
20th November 2012 - 23:08

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"They should bring that nice blonde haired bloke in the tracksuit who used to do the 'Clunk Click Every trip' film. You don't seem to hear about him these days...."

Thanks, MercuryOne; spilt my coffee laughing. Smile

posted by almossah [1 posts]
21st November 2012 - 9:17

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Gkam84 wrote:
I wouldn't class Polish people as an ethnic minority, would you?

Why not? Polish people constitute an ethnic group, and they're a minority (in the UK). I think you're confusing ethnicity and race, perhaps?

posted by lc1981 [47 posts]
28th March 2014 - 0:31

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