Road Haulage Association says cyclists should be taxed, insured and tested
22.05.07 by Buffalo Bill
Last week I posted an item about Roadtransport.com, the Road Transport blog, which is for UK’s trucking business. After an exchange of emails, I found the author, Dominic Perry, to be open to hearing both sides of the argument vis-a-vis the lorry/cyclist problem. Which was nice, as it only by reaching the drivers and operators that we will be able to reduce what Dominic himself calls these ‘avoidable deaths’. 17 cyclists were killed in London in the year ending June 2006. Of these 9 died as the result of a collision with Heavy Goods Vehicles, as we reported here.
And now it seems that Dominic is somewhat cross about an article published in ‘Roadway’, the official publication of the Road Haulage Association, one of the trucking industry’s representative bodies (the other is the Freight Transport Association). Roadway took the fairly progressive step of inviting my old mate Matt Seaton to write something about the threat from HGVs to cyclists. However, they rather ruined it by commenting that ‘motor vehicles pay through the nose to use the highways. Their drivers and riders have to undergo formal training and pass a test. Maybe it is time that cyclists were tested, taxed and obliged to have insurance. Just to make the point that using our roads safely must be a shared responsibility.’
I haven’t read the piece, but judging from Dom’s response, in which he says: ‘[the] last time I heard the argument regarding bikes and road tax it was being advanced by a 15-stone, shaven-headed builder who was also telling me he would “punch your f*cking teeth in” after I’d reacted to him nearly sideswiping me with his pick-up. Apparently my lack of a road fund licence made my opinion – about turning me into a bloody smear on the asphalt – somewhat invalid’, it looks like another major contribution to global peace and understanding. That’s sarcasm, by the way. Props to Matt for trying, though.