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Matt Seaton: get a grip, man.
8.03.06 by Buffalo Bill

Last week, BBC London gave some pretty decent coverage to the HGV/cyclist issue. The TV show got the Freight Transport Association on to answer cyclist concerns, and they were pretty feeble, and on the radio, the Drivetime show had the Road Haulage Association to answer for the lorries. So well done, BBC London.

never trust a man who tucks his shirt into trousers

Meanwhile what is the UK’s only national cycling columnist writing about: same old rubbish. Matt, why are you pandering to the upside down road ‘safety’ agenda of car-driving bourgeois w&nkers? I think I identified the reason why Matt has got it so back to front in my last post…

We, the cycling community, have to get this non-issue of red-light jumping by cyclists, and the perceived danger to pedestrians, straight: the stats show that of 700+ pedestrians killed on the roads in 2004, only 1 died as the result of a collision with a cyclist. And the stats do not show how where or how that collision took place. Meanwhile, 8 London cyclists were killed in 2004, and at least 2 London cyclists were killed in 2005 by left-turning lorries. But who cares about the stats? Who cares about the real issues? Not Matt, that’s for sure.

Matt was kind enough to send the following reply.

Hi Bill
You’ve got me all wrong. I’m an untrustworthy middle-class socialist from SOUTH London, please.
Sorry you don’t like the stopatred advocacy. But what’s your objection? How about engaging with the issue, man?
Don’t you think some things have got better for cyclists in recent years?
And so couldn’t we get out of the defensive huddle we got into in the bad old days when no one wanted to do anything for cyclists and we were just a damn nuisance? I know there’s still an issue with couriers getting killed at work, and I’m not saying everything is rosy in the garden, but… I just think we need to move on from the mentality of being eternally the
oppressed victim. It doesn’t match up with reality at any more.
Anyway, thanks for being nice about the book, even if I am now
Clarkson-lite in the Moving Target worldview.
Ride safely. Best, Matt

Let’s get this straight: I do not think it is ok for ANY road user to behave in a disrespectful way to any other road user.

But I am not happy when there is a lack of perspective when talking about criminal and anti-social behaviour by road users. Cyclists ‘nearly’ hitting pedestrians who are crossing on zebra crossing or light controlled crossings is not ok. Cyclists riding on the pavement in such a way as to substantially jeopardise the safety of pedestrians is not ok. But is it more worthy of attention than the fact that over 200 pedestrians in 4 years were killed by motor vehicles where the collision took place on a footway? Of course it isn’t.

That’s my objection to stopatred advocacy. There’s a lack of balance in the approach to road danger. If the stats tell us that fatal collisions between motors and pedestrians outnumber collisions between cycles and pedestrians by over 700 to 1, surely any campaign focused on reducing the danger to pedestrians should be addressing the hazard from motors first and cycles second? Or am I the one that has it backwards?

PS Clarkson wouldn’t send a polite email, he would probably simply punch me on the nose.

  1. erm, actually I’d just run you over.


    — clarkson    9 March 2006, 14:09    #
  2. I’d call that premeditated in a court of law sir.


    — A. Courier    11 March 2006, 14:32    #
  3. YOU ALL WILL DIE!!!!


    — god    19 March 2006, 14:01    #
  4. pandering to bourgeois w&nkers?
    what do you expect from someone who is sponsored by elitist, exclusive, rich peoples posing clothing company Rapha? he quite literally wears his priviliged, middle class badge on his sleeve.

    aside from that I’m with Bill on this…..keep it up!

    it is a good book though.


    winston    23 March 2006, 21:15    #
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