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Sir Chris Hoy calls for end to 'them v us' attitudes to cycling and driving

“We are people trying to get from A to B”

Sir Chris Hoy has called for an end to the ‘us and them’ attitudes he sees as being prevalent on the roads when cycling or driving, reports The Scotsman.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to promote his new book, he said: “At the risk of getting too political about it all, in my opinion, when it comes to urban environments, or indeed anywhere riding a bike, it shouldn’t be a cyclist hit by a motorist or a confrontation between a taxi driver and a cyclist.

“We are people trying to get around and, whether you choose to go on foot, on a bike, a taxi, a bus, we are people trying to get from A to B, and you should remember that we are all someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, brother or sister.

“People’s lives are at risk and it’s time to stop having a them versus us. In reality most cyclists drive and vice versa. We have to try and put ourselves in the shoes of another person.”

Hoy says that people can be as guilty of thoughtlessness when they’re cycling as when driving – even if the possible consequences are likely to be much less severe.

“If you are cycling and thinking: ‘Well, they can sit behind me for half a mile on this single lane road’ ... it’s not about saying you should get out of the way and let them through, it’s about, when they do come past, just give them the thumbs-up and you can see the road’s clear, give them a wave through, say thanks and that little bit of communication helps.

“Equally, when you are a motorist, to understand what it feels like to have a wing mirror buzz past your ear is utterly terrifying.

“I saw on social media the other day a video of an HGV company or a bus company who got all their drivers to sit on stationary bikes in a line and got a bus to drive past them at 50mph a foot away from them to get them to experience what that feels like.

“You saw the terror in their faces and it’s a brilliant idea because only when you have experienced the other person will you think ‘next time I will change my behaviour’.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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44 comments

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FluffyKittenofT... | 5 years ago
6 likes

I don't buy the argument that poor motorists suffer terrible trauma when they kill or injure someone.

 

  Quite simply, if that were the case, they wouldn't do it so often.

 

And if the psychological effects of being a killer were anywhere near as bad as the physical effects of being killed or seriously injured, then motorists would be as cautious as cyclists, and they patently are not, as can be seen by the frequency with which they kill or injure (or just crash into things).   Furthermore potential drivers would be as deterred from taking to the road as are potential cyclists, and hence there would be far, far fewer drivers on those roads.

 

That the roads are full of people happy to endure the terrrible risk of trauma involved in driving (and, indeed, in driving badly), suggests they aren't actually that bothered about those risks because they know they are not going to be traumatised.

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John Smith replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 5 years ago
2 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I don't buy the argument that poor motorists suffer terrible trauma when they kill or injure someone.

 

  Quite simply, if that were the case, they wouldn't do it so often.

 

And if the psychological effects of being a killer were anywhere near as bad as the physical effects of being killed or seriously injured, then motorists would be as cautious as cyclists, and they patently are not, as can be seen by the frequency with which they kill or injure (or just crash into things).   Furthermore potential drivers would be as deterred from taking to the road as are potential cyclists, and hence there would be far, far fewer drivers on those roads.

 

That the roads are full of people happy to endure the terrrible risk of trauma involved in driving (and, indeed, in driving badly), suggests they aren't actually that bothered about those risks because they know they are not going to be traumatised.

 

Realy? You don’t think that people don’t feel horrific guilt if they kill someone? I’m afraid all of the evidence is against you. The problem is that humans are very bad at risk analysis and think it will never happen to them. This is why education is so important. Get people to think when they are driving “what’s the worst case and how would I feel” rather than just thinking everything is fine because it’s never happened before. I’m not saying it is as bad as being killed or seriously injured, but it can still be, and normally is, life changing knowing you have killed someone.

 

You just need to look at the way most drivers take blind bends on roads they know. Go down any country lane at rush hour and you will see this behaviour. There could be a broken down lorry or fallen tree round the corner, but people drive like there isn’t. Or motorway tailgating, where the driver in front could have a tyre blow or medical issue, but this is not very common, and in both theses cases the driver themselves is at risk. 

 

Same me goes for cyclists. Just go in to Oxford any day and see hundreds of cyclists riding like dicks. I have to deal with it every day when I cycle to work. Cyclists who put themselves and me at risk with stupid behaviour, not looking for other cyclists.

 

More education on road usage, safety and rights all round is needed, and less petty politically driven laws, and less tribal behaviour from the media.

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hawkinspeter replied to John Smith | 5 years ago
3 likes
John Smith wrote:

More education on road usage, safety and rights all round is needed, and less petty politically driven laws, and less tribal behaviour from the media.

Can't we make do with cycling celebrities telling everyone to share the road, instead?

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davel replied to John Smith | 5 years ago
5 likes
John Smith wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I don't buy the argument that poor motorists suffer terrible trauma when they kill or injure someone.

 

  Quite simply, if that were the case, they wouldn't do it so often.

 

And if the psychological effects of being a killer were anywhere near as bad as the physical effects of being killed or seriously injured, then motorists would be as cautious as cyclists, and they patently are not, as can be seen by the frequency with which they kill or injure (or just crash into things).   Furthermore potential drivers would be as deterred from taking to the road as are potential cyclists, and hence there would be far, far fewer drivers on those roads.

 

That the roads are full of people happy to endure the terrrible risk of trauma involved in driving (and, indeed, in driving badly), suggests they aren't actually that bothered about those risks because they know they are not going to be traumatised.

 

Realy? You don’t think that people don’t feel horrific guilt if they kill someone? I’m afraid all of the evidence is against you. The problem is that humans are very bad at risk analysis and think it will never happen to them. This is why education is so important. Get people to think when they are driving “what’s the worst case and how would I feel” rather than just thinking everything is fine because it’s never happened before. I’m not saying it is as bad as being killed or seriously injured, but it can still be, and normally is, life changing knowing you have killed someone.

 

You just need to look at the way most drivers take blind bends on roads they know. Go down any country lane at rush hour and you will see this behaviour. There could be a broken down lorry or fallen tree round the corner, but people drive like there isn’t. Or motorway tailgating, where the driver in front could have a tyre blow or medical issue, but this is not very common, and in both theses cases the driver themselves is at risk. 

 

Same me goes for cyclists. Just go in to Oxford any day and see hundreds of cyclists riding like dicks. I have to deal with it every day when I cycle to work. Cyclists who put themselves and me at risk with stupid behaviour, not looking for other cyclists.

 

More education on road usage, safety and rights all round is needed, and less petty politically driven laws, and less tribal behaviour from the media.

Doesn't that suggest that people aren't that bad at risk analysis? When stuff goes wrong, it can be catastrophic - but given its rarity, people drive and ride like it won't, because, well, it doesn't. In all my years commuting by bike I've come off twice with nothing more than cuts and bruises. When I was looking at the stats a while back, I calculated that if I was bang average for the UK, with my hours commuting, I had something crazy like another thousand years of it before I got killed doing it. It won't kill me.

Except it might. And I feel a damn sight less invincible when I'm on my bike, in the elements, with drivers skimming my elbow than, say, when I'm in my heated metal box, with the radio on, whizzing along at speeds that none of my senses can reasonably comprehend. 

And education - I'm skeptical. If you're the type of person who will listen thoughtfully to a public information broadcast, aren't you already driving and riding responsibly?

IMHO, we need two things. The incentive imbalance needs to be addressed, in part, by some sort of liability hierarchy like our more civilised neighbours have. And we need to make antisocial driving as socially unacceptable as drink driving has become. Campaigns would help - but a cultural shift is about more than education.

I'm not singling out antisocial riding because it just isn't a problem. As much as it might annoy people, the actual consequences are negligible. People don't get delayed behind cyclists, and they're not always nearly being knocked over on the pavement by thugs barrelling along pulling wheelies, no matter how much their confirmation bias tells them they are. People just like to be pissed off about 'others', and especially 'da yoof'. 

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to John Smith | 5 years ago
1 like
John Smith wrote:

More education on road usage, safety and rights all round is needed, and less petty politically driven laws, and less tribal behaviour from the media.

 

A pet peeve of mine is the way people massively overestimate the benefits of education, across a whole range of issues.  It rarely works out as advertised, from increasing social-mobility to ending racism to improving driving.  I think this is partly because those promoting it have themselves had a lot of education and tend to over-value it.

 

Educated people often do awful things.  It's a question of incentives, of costs-and-benefits, not education.

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danhopgood replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 5 years ago
1 like
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

[A pet peeve of mine is the way people massively overestimate the benefits of education, across a whole range of issues.  It rarely works out as advertised, from increasing social-mobility to ending racism to improving driving.  I think this is partly because those promoting it have themselves had a lot of education and tend to over-value it.

 

Educated people often do awful things.  It's a question of incentives, of costs-and-benefits, not education.

 

I disagree.  How you educate makes a difference, but the most effective techniques can get costly.  For example, how about convicted close passing motorists being given a full course of cycle training followed by having to ride the route they offended on for an hour or two at peak time?   I can see that being more likely to change behaviour than a classroom session.

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davel replied to danhopgood | 5 years ago
1 like
danhopgood wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

[A pet peeve of mine is the way people massively overestimate the benefits of education, across a whole range of issues.  It rarely works out as advertised, from increasing social-mobility to ending racism to improving driving.  I think this is partly because those promoting it have themselves had a lot of education and tend to over-value it.

 

Educated people often do awful things.  It's a question of incentives, of costs-and-benefits, not education.

 

I disagree.  How you educate makes a difference, but the most effective techniques can get costly.  For example, how about convicted close passing motorists being given a full course of cycle training followed by having to ride the route they offended on for an hour or two at peak time?   I can see that being more likely to change behaviour than a classroom session.

All  (generally) shitty drivers will have had lessons to not drive shittily, and passed a test in not driving shittily, to get on the road. You could stop the next driver who close-passes you, tell them you're a driving examiner, and ask them to repeat the manoeuvre. They will give you more room the next time.

Education works while you're still in the classroom. What works in the real world is incentives. 

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srchar | 5 years ago
4 likes

We'd all be better off in every aspect of our lives if everyone gave everyone else a bit more respect. But, that's not going to happen, so we need to legislate so that the people who pose the biggest risks are obliged to take greater care around the most vulnerable. We do this in many other areas - heavy industry, healthcare, in schools... but for some reason, the politicians won't make it happen on our roads.

I don't think Chris Hoy is wrong, I just think what he's calling for will never happen, and his statement will be used by the type of driver who thinks every traffic jam he sits in is the fault of bloody cyclists.

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vonhelmet | 5 years ago
0 likes

How the hell did I mistype that do badly haha.

And yes, we need more forethought and less regret. Make people think about the consequences of their actions before, not after.

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nniff | 5 years ago
5 likes

That now useless rag the Telegraph reports Chris Hoy's comments under the following headline:

Cyclists should stop hogging the road, says Sir Chris Hoy 

I despair.

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fenix replied to nniff | 5 years ago
2 likes
nniff wrote:

That now useless rag the Telegraph reports Chris Hoy's comments under the following headline:

Cyclists should stop hogging the road, says Sir Chris Hoy 

I despair.

Brilliant. Not stirring it up much then.

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vonhelmet | 5 years ago
1 like

I wouldn’t dismiss PDST out of hand, that could be every bit as debilitating as losing a limb or whatever.

But hey, we don’t take mental illness seriously in this country, so on you go.

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hawkinspeter replied to vonhelmet | 5 years ago
6 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

I wouldn’t dismiss PDST out of hand, that could be every bit as debilitating as losing a limb or whatever.

But hey, we don’t take mental illness seriously in this country, so on you go.

Professional Development Service for Teachers?

You're right, I don't think we do take teachers seriously enough in the UK.

Kidding aside, PTSD can indeed be very serious, but I'd suspect that the vast majority of cases where a motorist experiences PTSD would be caused by the motorist (assumption based on RTC causes). Yes, it's a serious problem, but by driving with more care and attention, the chance of injuring someone and then having issues dealing with that can be avoided.

Rather than concentrating on how to recover from injuries, we should be focussed on preventing the incidents in the first place. My view is that driver education would be the simplest most effective way to improve cyclist safety.

 

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vonhelmet | 5 years ago
2 likes

How many KSIs on the road are the fault of the cyclist rather than the driver, though? What are the numbers on that?

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to vonhelmet | 5 years ago
1 like
vonhelmet wrote:

How many KSIs on the road are the fault of the cyclist rather than the driver, though? What are the numbers on that?

well we can say with some certainty that the numbers are skewed by police forces who can't/won't recognise that fault actually lay with motorists because they are so indoctrinated their interpretation is slanted. There are many, many examples where police will go to extreme ends and break their sworn oath to not discriminate and in doing so break the law to defend motorists and victim blame those that have been killed/injured.

The figures that are bandied around are about 75% sole fault of motorist but without having someone trawl through every incident it'd be very hard to get a true figure rather than some concoted BS via STATS19 for the government.

 

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davel replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

How many KSIs on the road are the fault of the cyclist rather than the driver, though? What are the numbers on that?

well we can say with some certainty that the numbers are skewed by police forces who can't/won't recognise that fault actually lay with motorists because they are so indoctrinated their interpretation is slanted. There are many, many examples where police will go to extreme ends and break their sworn oath to not discriminate and in doing so break the law to defend motorists and victim blame those that have been killed/injured.

The figures that are bandied around are about 75% sole fault of motorist but without having someone trawl through every incident it'd be very hard to get a true figure rather than some concoted BS via STATS19 for the government.

 

I don't disagree, but at least there are stats, which give an idea of the scale. 

I've got 2 issues with @madcarew's argument here. Firstly, the definition of KSI he uses is incorrect - it doesn't include longer-term emotional or mental consequences.

Therefore, secondly, we simply don't have any idea of the scale of those consequences so there can't even  be a useful debate. As far as we can demonstrate, the risk of KSI from dangerous cyclist-driver interactions is pretty much all on the cyclist.

The conclusion then is that the cyclist is already incentivised really heavily not to ride like a dick - certainly around drivers, and drivers just don't have that particular incentive.

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ktache | 5 years ago
11 likes

I salute more good overtakes than I do "critisise" close passes.

There will be equality when we start killing them at the same rate they are killing us.  Same with serious injuries and hospitilisation.

It's not a war, it's effing slaughter.

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vonhelmet replied to ktache | 5 years ago
4 likes
ktache wrote:

I salute more good overtakes than I do "critisise" close passes.

Oh yeah, I do that as well, wave thanks as someone passes me when I know they've been waiting behind me for the right moment rather than just barging past.

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madcarew replied to ktache | 5 years ago
0 likes
ktache wrote:

I salute more good overtakes than I do "critisise" close passes.

There will be equality when we start killing them at the same rate they are killing us.  Same with serious injuries and hospitilisation.

It's not a war, it's effing slaughter.

I'm not sure that's any kind of useful measure of equality. In fact I don't think it's any kind of objective measure of any kind of equality. 

and +1 on the good overtakes.

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growingvegtables | 5 years ago
3 likes

Get a grip, folks.  

The Scotsman's https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/sir-chris-hoy-end-the-cyclist-vs... explicitly states that it's a "cyclist vs motorist battle in cities".

FFS.

Cyclists on 12kg of cheap alloy, versus "entitled brainless turd" in a 2000kg Audi?  That is not, never has been, and never will be "cyclist vs motorist".

IT  IS,   AND  ALMOST  ALWAYS  WILL  BE,  BRAIN-DEAD  ENTITLED  MOTORIST  vs   CYCLIST.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
10 likes

I've just cycled 6.75 miles from home to shops, dropped off letter at the lads house and back home.

I've had:

3 tailgaters

2 very close pases

6 passes that were too close for comfort but as an experienced cyclist you just end up tutting and think wanker, just why when there's plenty of space

2 MGIFS (but not close passes) with one hammering it only for them to have to brake because of the motors in front of them

1 driver who wouldn't give me my priority and didn't want to wait behind the parked car for all of 2 seconds, in fact because I had nowhere to go it cost him 10x that, and all because he wanted to pull over into a driveway 20metres up the road.

That's a 'garden city' at about 4pm, in a bigger town/city you could easily multiply that by a factor of two.

Yes, there have been many more lawful overtakes, I won't call them considerate because it's the minimum the law decrees they must do. Whilst I'm all up for positive re-inforcement and I probably wave motors through/across more than most, this thinking that we should all just get along inferring it's a nice cosy split is bullshit.

Hoy must be extremely naive to think this is anywhere near a 50/50 share of who is in the wrong, I get why he's going with the softly on the motorist approach (doesn't want to upset his neutral image/sponsors etc etc) but time and again this has proven to be a load of balony and has never worked to stop/reduce the carnage meted out by those in the big boxes.

He would be better off using his weight behind a campaign to get government to review the mass killings and serious injuries of people on bikes and asking why the police and government are not protecting this group, why they are inherrently bias in their approach to the law and discriminate against cyclists at every avenue to the point of victim blaming and killers getting away scot-free with police, judges and the CPS complicit in many of these. Also why a jury system is rigged in favour of motorists who do harm.

Oi, Hoy, open yer eyes sonshine and target something meaningful instead of a few weak words that does nothing!

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Jimmy Ray Will | 5 years ago
4 likes

I think the challenge we face as cyclists is a complex beast. 

On one level, its as simple as the language of the road is one of assertiveness and dominance - as a vulnerable road user its never going to feel nice being on the receiving end of this being played out. Accordingly when people (drivers) have to make accommodations to their driving, not through the usual hierachial dominance, but from quite the opposite (I'll die if you don't wait for me, give me room etc.), it in turn ruffles their feathers. 

Hence why the 'its not fair' argument is played out... 'if i'm not supposed to kill you, you can at least pay road tax, have insurance, have a number plate, dress like a cartoon' that'll make it less of a disservice to me, the driver. 

Add in to that a big dose of ignorance of the rules and we are where we are.

I have to say though, I think there is a massive dollup of bullshit out there too. Those of us that drive, I ask you honestly, how many times in the past 6 months have you been held up, or indeed come across significant groups of cyclists whilst in your car? 

And of those times, how often were riders riding 3 or 4 abreast? 

From what you see on social media, this happens to all drivers, every day, but I have experienced it once in six months (the group element, not the 3 or 4 abreast element), which was only the second time in my 20 years of driving. 

Anyway, this bullshit is spouted, in my opinion, because drivers know their feelings towards cyclists are unreasonable and they are naturally desperate to justify this, so as to not be the unpleasant person these feelings suggest. 

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burtthebike | 5 years ago
8 likes

While I can only agree with Sir Chris' sentiments, I might be given to wondering how much road riding he does in this country now.

“People’s lives are at risk and it’s time to stop having a them versus us." 

But it is only the cyclists' lives at risk, no driver has ever been killed in collision with a cyclist, so there is absolutely no sense of shared risk.  The drivers are literally at no risk from a cyclist, but they have all the power, and can inflict death and serious injury with hardly a thought.

"In reality most cyclists drive and vice versa.” 

Indeed most cyclists drive, but the same is not true of most drivers, who don't ride, have no concept whatsoever of what it's like to have your life threatened every trip, every day, every week, every month, every year.

"We have to try and put ourselves in the shoes of another person." 

As above, most cyclists are drivers but not vice versa and most drivers have no wish or intention of riding a bike.  If Sir Chris had proposed a few concrete measures, like drivers having to pass Bikeability stage three before they could even be considered to take their driving test, then he might have a point, but this kind of appeal to the kindness of strangers is guaranteed to fail.  Perhaps he could set up a nationwide scheme to take drivers out for a bike ride on the local dual carriageway and through the narrow streets of a few towns to give them the vaguest idea of what we have to put up with every day.

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davel | 5 years ago
6 likes

 

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danhopgood | 5 years ago
3 likes

I think Sir Chris is absolutely right with this.  He's in a respected position within the wider population, so likely to be listened to and he's simply right in what he's saying.  We would indeed all be better off giving each other more respect on our badly maintained, underfunded, overcrowded road network.  I'd go further and say we all need to respect the law of the land - and that includes cyclists.  Law breaking cyclists are the same as law breaking motorists, except the cyclists are more likely to get hurt.  Blaming each other ain't helping.  The push for dangerous cycling legislation is helped merrily on its way by RLJ cyclists being monitored by all those stationary motorists.

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vonhelmet | 5 years ago
16 likes

I do make a point of thanking drivers who’ve waited for me to pass the side roads they’re joining from, or on roundabouts or whatever. It feels a bit like “Great job! Thanks for not trying to kill me!” but it seems like the only way to encourage people who are actually driving properly.

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hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
13 likes

As I shared one anecdote, here's another one.

Last Thursday, I was cycling home along the A370 dual carriageway in Weston-super-Mare and I was pretty close to the edge to allow other vehicles plenty of room (there's also two lanes in both directions). A tractor with a large trailer decided to come up behind me and give a 3 second blast on his horn before overtaking me! Again, there's a crappy shared use bike lane off to the side of that road and it seems that some people just don't get why a cyclist wouldn't want to use it. I then overtook him at the roundabout and spotted him using his mobile phone which I thought just about summed up the attitude of some drivers.

The last laugh is on the driver though, as a quick submission of bike-cam footage to Avon & Somerset police has resulted in them stating that they are looking to prosecute the driver.

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davel | 5 years ago
6 likes

 Nice try Chris, undermined by a couple of fatal flaws, I suspect to butter up the audience. 

'In reality, most cyclists drive' yep, with you there... 'and vice versa'. Oh dear, that point's dead.

There is no appeal to empathy when 90%+ of the population can't imagine doing what they perceive as a niche activity that might get them killed.

The argument acknowledges as much when it moves on to forcing a bit of empathy on HGV drivers. Unfortunately that point comes with a dollop of false equivalence: being an inconsiderate cyclist around drivers puts the risk of a KSI on the cyclist. Being an inconsiderate driver around cyclist(s) puts the risk of a KSI on the cyclist(s). 

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madcarew replied to davel | 5 years ago
5 likes
davel wrote:

 Nice try Chris, undermined by a couple of fatal flaws, I suspect to butter up the audience. 

'In reality, most cyclists drive' yep, with you there... 'and vice versa'. Oh dear, that point's dead.

There is no appeal to empathy when 90%+ of the population can't imagine doing what they perceive as a niche activity that might get them killed.

The argument acknowledges as much when it moves on to forcing a bit of empathy on HGV drivers. Unfortunately that point comes with a dollop of false equivalence: being an inconsiderate cyclist around drivers puts the risk of a KSI on the cyclist. Being an inconsiderate driver around cyclist(s) puts the risk of a KSI on the cyclist(s). 

The KSI risk is not solely on the cyclist. Ask any normal, reasonable human being who has actually run over another human being. In nearly every single case it is a life altering occurrence for them, whether at fault or not. If you're a cyclist riding like a dick and cause your own KSI you have altered the other party's life almost as much as you have altered your own in the majority of cases. If you don't understand that you are one of 'them'. Train drivers who get the 'body on the tracks' often suffer from PTSD, in spite of being almost entirely devoid of blame. 'Most' drivers are our friends, family, and colleagues and are caring, feeling human beings with a deep sense of responsibility. How many of your friends and family would "not give a shit" if they ran over a cyclist who was riding like a dick? It would inevitably affect them deeply. The risk the inconsiderate  cyclist is taking is not solely theirs.

Treat all other road users with respect.

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burtthebike replied to madcarew | 5 years ago
12 likes
madcarew wrote:

The KSI risk is not solely on the cyclist. Ask any normal, reasonable human being who has actually run over another human being. In nearly every single case it is a life altering occurrence for them, whether at fault or not. If you're a cyclist riding like a dick and cause your own KSI you have altered the other party's life almost as much as you have altered your own in the majority of cases. If you don't understand that you are one of 'them'. Train drivers who get the 'body on the tracks' often suffer from PTSD, in spite of being almost entirely devoid of blame. 'Most' drivers are our friends, family, and colleagues and are caring, feeling human beings with a deep sense of responsibility. How many of your friends and family would "not give a shit" if they ran over a cyclist who was riding like a dick? It would inevitably affect them deeply. The risk the inconsiderate  cyclist is taking is not solely theirs.

Treat all other road users with respect.

I don't think anyone would deny that most drivers feel remorse and sadness after they have been involved in the death of someone, but I'd swap all the remorse in the universe for a moment's forethought.  The majority of cyclist/driver collisions are the fault of the driver, and while it is clearly true that there are collisions where the driver is not at fault, those are relatively few, and like train drivers who suffer through no fault of their own, I feel sympathy for them.  There will always be innocent victims, and sometimes, but not frequently, it will be the driver.  That's no reason to excuse the rest, the vast majority who drive without consideration for others and put them at risk.

Most of the time the driver is to blame and you can't avoid responsibility because you feel sorry afterwards.

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