Bikers always the Villains never the Victims
23 March 2009 11:20
Five bikers have been killed in little over a week in Scotland and no one doubts that it is anything but a tragedy. As bikers we need to take responsibility for our own actions because in most cases if we are involved in an accident we are the ones who are going to face the most serious consequences.
It is up to us to ensure our riding style and bike are up to scratch. Having said all of that I felt I had to protest to Central Scotland police about a press statement attributed to them by BBC Scotland which said ... "In the past week we have seen two families bereaved as a result of road collisions and our thoughts are with them.In general, we have seen increasing numbers of motorcyclists and other road traffic due to the good weather which has come in early in the spring.
"The biking season doesn't normally pick up until April but more riders are taking to the roads earlier. I would urge them to ensure their bikes are in good working order and properly maintained - especially if they have been garaged over the winter - and remind them to respect the speed limits and generally ride carefully and responsibly."
My problem with the Chief Inspector's statement is that when he issued it he could not have possibly been fully aware of who was responsible for the crashes especially as one was outside his force error. Despite that his clear inference is that these bikers either caused or contributed to their own deaths. There is plenty of advice for bikers from him but no advice for car drivers. It seems in the eyes of Central Scotland Police bikers are always the villains and never the victims when it comes to road accidents.
I rode along the very road that one of these bikers was killed on the week before with my headlight on and was wearing a high viz vest and a car still pulled out of a side road directly into my path. Only the lack of traffic in the other lane saved me. Presumably the good Chief Inspector would have told other bikers to be more careful if the myopic car driver had actually hit and killed me.
I hope that if it turns out that either biker did not contribute (beyond being on 2 wheels) to the accidents which killed them that Central Scotland Police will have the good grace to apologies to their relatives for inferring that they did. Come on Police we are not always the Villains we are more often than not in my experience the victims on the road.
By all means remind us of our part in road safety but be even handed about it and remind the car drivers its the time of year when they too need to be more aware because of the increased number of motorcycles on the road.