“Car drivers don’t need to be as careful as motorcyclists”

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Car drivers have a lesser “onus” to avoid killing other road users than motorcyclists do, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation has said.

Roger Geffen, policy manager for CTC, said: “There is a greater onus on motorcyclists to avoid incidents where they end up killing people because they do it far more often.”

Geffen was attempting to defend a claim he made on The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 last week that motorcyclists are “more likely to be involved in killing” pedestrians and cyclists than car drivers are.

Geffen admits he has no idea know how frequently we are at fault in the collisions. But he nevertheless stands by his statement, even though it suggests we are to blame.

He says figures show we are more likely than car drivers to be involved in accidents which are fatal to other roads users and that he has “no reason to believe the ratio of blame will be different” for each vehicle type.

He had initially retracted the claim when challenged, saying: “If I implied that it is unequivocally motorcyclists who are always at fault, then I would have to take back that wording.”

But he backtracked again after listening to his own radio interview. He called MCN back to say: “If it’s a prejudice then it’s equally a prejudice about cars as well as motorcyclists.” 

He compared motorcycles to shot guns and cars to water pistols. He said: “If you are using a water pistol and a shot gun, which one requires you to take greater precautions?”

He added: “You have to concentrate rather more when you’re using a shot gun.”


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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell