There is a certain type of person who refuses to accept the responsibility that comes with being in charge of a tonne or more of powerful, dangerous machinery in a public place, and tries to justify their disgusting attitude by spewing vile, anti-cyclist nonsense on the Internet. This is a comment made by one individual who goes by the name of gingerferguson on YouTube:
“I’m getting sick of these cyclist videos pointing out every little mistake a driver makes or if they came within a foot of you. I notice you havent [sic] filmed the bastard cyclist who scratched my car with his handbars [sic] while out of the cycle lane or the cyclist actually on blackburn road going through a red light and nearly knocking me over as I was crossing, or cyclist riding 2 abreast on Belmont road blocking traffic. I’m sure if we filmed you on a cycle ride you wouldnt [sic] be perfect and the arguement [sic] that beats them all, I pay road tax and you dont [sic], so do us a favour and do one”
First, note that gingerferguson is a bad driver, without a shadow of a doubt. How do I know this? Because by his own admission he believes that passing a cyclist in a motor vehicle less than a foot away is fine. Well I am also a driver and, in about 400,000 miles of driving, I have never, ever had a problem with a cyclist, yet I find my safety threatened by motorists every time I get on my bicycle.
There was a time when I might have tried to reason with these worms, but I think the only ways to handle them are either to ignore them or to respond in the only terms their tiny brains are able to understand. Here is my response to gingerferguson:
“Ah, I’m guessing you are the idiot who nearly knocked me off my bike in the cycle lane in this video.
Well that’s terrible about your scratched car – so cry me f*****g river and try telling the parents, brothers and sisters of the 1,980 children who were killed or seriously injured by UK motorists in 2013 about your damn scratched paintwork.
Oh, and do try to get it right; road tax was abolished in 1937. Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty, however, is based on vehicle emissions: I pay £30 per annum for my car, which is band C rated, and £0 per annum for my bicycle, the same as all other band A rated vehicles like the Toyota Prius and all the ones in this list: http://www.nextgreencar.com/car-tax/band/band-A-list/”
It’s shocking that people have become so cavalier about the grave responsibility that comes with taking a motor vehicle out on the road. How did it get to this?
Edit (26th September 2014):
Well, this character still doesn’t get it. I’ve put the most recent part of the discussion below because I have explained more clearly there the nature of the prejudices that are displayed, not only by this writer, but by many people driving motor vehicles on the public highway.
gingerferguson: “Lets take a step back, who’s actually said cyclists and drivers are not perfect, not you, and who’s not defended other allegations, not you, if you gonna make an argument you got to be consistant, and I think what you and many other cyclist do on youtube is disgusting coz your not giving the vast majority of people the chance to defend themselves”
Bike-Riding Motorist: “OK, step back. In your first post, you showed us that you consider driving a motor vehicle past a cyclist less than 12 inches away is fine; you showed us that you expect cyclists who are legitimately using the road should get out of your royal way; you showed us that you are prejudiced against all cyclists just because (assuming you’re not lying about it) you had bad experiences with some dickheads that I’ve never met; you’ve showed us that you believe it is appropriate for drivers consciously to behave in a way that leaves no room for error and presumably, when there are serious consequences, just shrug it off as a mistake – a momentary lapse in concentration; you showed that, despite being demonstrably ignorant about safe cycling practices, you are arrogant enough to think you know better than the people who have far more training and experience in the matter; and you showed that you have a misplaced sense of entitlement because you believe you pay some mythical tax. That really is an awful lot of backtracking required before you can expect to have your views respected.”
People like this show why we need to separate motor vehicles from people on all roads: because there are people driving motor vehicles who, quite frankly, do not have the mental capacity to understand the responsibility they take on, and cannot or will not be educated.