But I do pay car tax

You may also like...

40 Responses

  1. Ileene says:

    This is if course horrendous. No car driver should be able to do this but sadly they do. They then try to justify it by telling us they pay road fund tax. Which is an emisdions tax. Therefore bikes are not eligible.
    I think the only answer is for more and more and more of us to pour onto the road on our bikes everyday, everywhere until we own them!! Be safe out there!

    • Diana says:

      I think there’s a bit of a catch 22 though. Lots more folk would cycle if they felt the roads were safe. They don’t feel safe on a bike because of attitudes like this, so they drive a car instead and are a part of the problem

  2. Peter Clinch says:

    The underlying problem of dicks that can’t be confused by facts doesn’t go away, but the list of VED exempt motor vehicles looks like this…
    electrically propelled vehicles, vehicles older than 40 years, trams, vehicles which cannot convey people, police vehicles, fire engines, ambulances and health service vehicles, mine rescue vehicles, lifeboat vehicles, certain road construction and maintenance vehicles, vehicles for disabled people, certain agricultural and land maintenance vehicles, road gritters and snow ploughs, vehicles undergoing statutory tests, vehicles imported by members of foreign armed forces, and crown vehicles.

    You could ask the next one if he thinks he has automatic right of way over a police car…

    Though as noted, the fundamental problem is you’re dealing with a moron in possession of both a motor car and a sense of entitlement, and it’s going to take a major public information exercise to get over that. Sadly, not much political capital in telling these types they’re wrong, so I’m not holding my breath. It’d be War On The Motorist, innit? ;-/

    (List from the Wikipedia)

    • Diana says:

      I think we need to find a way to get the self interest across to ordinary (non-cyclist) people. If more folk used a bike for short journeys there would be less cars on the road. Less cars means less congestion. Less congestion means less holds ups. So more bikes on the roads means faster overall car journeys for when you really do need a car (I do have a car and I do use it)!

    • Anna says:

      Road tax was abolished by Churchill, its vehicle excise duty. The cost of upkeeping the roads, motorways and the secondary costs of traffic delays, NHS and police cost of dealing with collisions, traffic design (lights, crossings, signs, etc.) comes out of all the taxpayers’ money.

      You had a right of way and that person discriminated against you, because you were on a bike.

      He’s paying about 50p a day to use a great chunk of public land, make noise, pollute, cause traffic jams and he thinks he’s some kind of a saviour.

      Sadly there are many more of him. Let us have the patience to deal with his kind.

      • Diana says:

        I think you are absolutely right – we need to respond with patience, not anger. A yelling, ranting cyclist just makes these folk feel vindicated in their actions. Hard to do though.

  3. Peter Clinch says:

    I’d further suggest take pictures showing situation and number plate and off to the police. Since he’s right what objection would he have?

  4. I think until we get decent infrastructure, the only way this kind of thing can be tackled is through enforcement. This is why I have so far submitted 37 videos to Greater Manchester police under Operation Considerate since they started accepting them in April. Every one has been dealt with either through a Police Reform Act Section 59 warning (about 50%), a driver awareness course at their own expense or, in once case, a prosecution in court. These idiots will not respond to reason, so they need to be shown there are cosequences for them. I hope more and more people will start to take this action through the police.
    I find I don’t get angry at them now; revenge is a dish best served cold.

  5. StewB says:

    Walkers, horse riders and cyclists all use the highway by right. But drivers of motor vehicles do so only under licence. The “right” to drive a motor vehicle on the public highway arises not from the paying of taxes for said vehicle, as has been pointed out by others many motor vehicles are tax exempt. The right to drive under licence requires compliance with the terms of the licence. Failure to comply leads ultimately to disqualification of the driver. Not ceding to right of way is ultimately a failure to comply with your licence. Ditto close passing, breaking the speed limit etc. Too many drivers seem to believe that the acquiring of a licence to drive gives licence to drive as they choose, not licence to drive within the law.

  6. Jackie Fraser says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you – and to your children.
    The sense of entitlement which some drivers have must be politely and courteously rebutted by all of us every time we come across it.
    I usually use the argument that if there are Highway Code rules to which I must adhere, clearly the Department for Transport sees me as traffic.
    My husband hates it when I engage with a crass driver, but how else can we change this ridiculous mentality?

    • Diana says:

      ‘Politely and courteously’ absolutely. We have to put across a positive image of cycling…even when we are fuming. I also think that by engaging with drivers we reinforce that we are first and foremost, people

      • Gary James says:

        It sounds like you subscribe to collective responsibility for disparate human beings who happen to use bicycles.

        • Peter Clinch says:

          The game is not to assume collective responsibility for anyone on a bike, but to impress the fact upon the general population that “cyclist” does not necessarily imply the generally negative stereotypes (e.g., degenerate freeloaders who don’t pay for the roads so don’t deserve to use them, etc.) typically associated.

  7. I’m glad to read that you and your children are OK – that’s important to remember.

    I think that this can only be prevented by education of learner drivers. It has to be instilled early and in the next generation of drivers. I’d dare bet that this bloke you encountered was an older, “experienced” driver. Like the comments above, these people cannot be reasoned with. Fines, awareness courses etc might temporarily have some effect, but ultimately, enforcing this is nigh on impossible.

    I wear a camera on my helmet with the hope that
    A) drivers see it and think twice
    B) in the event that there is an incident, footage is on my side.

  8. Stephan Matthiesen says:

    I’m sorry this happened to you. I hope it doesn’t discourage you (I often don’t want to cycle for a few days after a bad experience…)

    Your last paragraph is really spot on, and perhaps this is the best way to respond to the “road tax” misconception, as it is short (even short enough for Twitter!) and to the point:

    “Car tax entitles you to drive your car. Nothing entitles you to use your car as a weapon.”

    There are lots of debates on social media explaining that “road tax” doesn’t exist, but it seems to me that these arguments (although true) are not effective. The key point is that paying money simply does not allow you to break laws and endanger other people, no matter how much and what kind of taxes and duties you pay.

    Or would these drivers also say that paying council tax then allows me to kick a student (who’s exempt) when he’s walking too slowly in front of me on the pavement?

  9. Sheridan Kelly says:

    [quote]A point where motorists’ sense of entitlement leads them to believe that they have more rights than anyone else?[/quote]
    Because when they kill they don’t get punished. Most of the time they don’t get charged, and sometimes they don’t even get investigated.

  10. Matthew Marks says:

    I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned the difference in the wear on the roads caused by different vehicles. It is not proportionate to weight – a car causes thousands of times more wear than a bicycle. eg: https://streets.mn/2016/07/07/chart-of-the-day-vehicle-weight-vs-road-damage-levels/

    There are also increasing worries about particulates emitted by tyres and brakes of all cars – including electric ones. Far more than those emitted by a bicycle.

    Grahame Cooper, I am gratified to hear that your reports to GMP are having an effect. I used the Met Police’s Roadsafe page to report an elderly gentleman who drove past me, at low speed and without any aggression, but so closely that he clipped my elbow with his wing mirror. I suggested in my report that he needed to be investigated to see if he was no longer fit to drive. The response I got was that no action would be taken because of no realistic prospect of conviction. I haven’t bothered reporting anything else since.

    • I think the Met are likely to improve in this respect as are many other forces across the country. The met is the latest force to implement an Operation Close Pass following from the good work done by West Midlands Police. GMP started doing this – putting plain clothes cops on bikes to catch offending drivers – late last year, then followed up this year with the third party video initiative. Things are finally changing on this front.

  11. Matthew Marks says:

    “Personally, I have never understood why any pedestrian would cross a busy road without using a crossing when there is one right by them.”

    Possibly because if traffic lights are involved, the timings are set to be so pedestrian-unfriendly that it is not worth using them. Around here you can wait for 3 minutes for TfL-controlled pedestrian lights to change, even if the traffic is crawling through at a walking pace. Would motorists expect to wait 3 minutes for a traffic light to change? I don’t think so!

  12. Concerned Road User says:

    Oh poor you. If you gave a damn about your children’s safety you would not ferry them around where they became the crumple zone. Furthermore you could tell that the driver was going to behave this way but instead of keeping your offspring safe you decided to instigate the matter. I don’t get why you would challenge the safety of your children to prove a point, with that point being ‘there are some drivers who can be dicks’ which I must point out that any road user would at one point have come across someone like that. Grow a pair and consider the safety of your children over a self entitled ego trip you seem to be on.

    • Sheridan Kelly says:

      Concerned Road User? Obviously concerned about the tens of thousands of people who die from car pollution each year, much to busy victim-blaming instead.

      • Concerned Road User says:

        Where are these tens of thousands of people who die from car pollution each year? I mean if this is genuinely a thing you should be easily able to pull up records of death certificates where this was the case. Now the reality is people are not dropping like flies because they live near a road. I mean I doubt Waitrose will start swapping their fleet of lorries to cargo bikes as that would be terribly inefficient not to mention the price of brioche will inevitably go up. Alas logic and reason should prevail and the reality is no matter how green our cars are China and the developing world are kicking out far more pollution than we ever will. But back to the point at hand. Children make lousy crumple zones and even worse airbags.

        • Unfortunately, the press report these thing in a gossly over-simplified manner. The reality is explained in great detail here: http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2017/03/06/air-pollution-cause-40000-deaths-every-year-fact-check-linked/

          There is lots of evidence now that living near busy roads is hazardous to health because of the poor air quality that results. If you really want to see then you need to do your own research, but here is one particular study about the effects on children: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126992/

          A particularly well studied topic now is the reationship between living near busy roads and increased risks of demenia – particularly alzheimer’s disease. NOx emissions and particularly PM2.5 particulates have been shown to be linked to this.

          • Concerned Road User says:

            Greenpeace, the company that mask’s itself as a charity and produces bias reports to enforce its own existence? as for the conclusion on journal you linked from 2014 it stated that they did not have any real solid evidence to prove that there was a case.

            What next, chemtrails are directly linked to cyclists running red lights?

    • Idiot_Alert says:

      ^^ Entitled Dick spouts absolute tosh ^^ Victim blaming again when the real problem is unsafe drivers

    • Tom says:

      Such a lovely human you are. But yes I think the author should ‘grow a pair’ by sitting in a tank.

  13. Adrian Lawson says:

    Although the problem is older than Clarkson it was him on telly berating cyclists for being in his way that made this sense of entitlement among some drivers vastly worse.
    A while back I had a driver swerve at me as he passed not once but three times. When I had the opportunity to question him it was because I wasn’t wearing a helmet.
    Sadly the ability to drive is the only criteria people need, not the ability to share, have empathy or even basic intelligence, before they are given a licence.

  14. D.Clarke says:

    It’s actually against the law to ride a bicycle on what is commonly called ‘the pavement’ (by rights it should be called a ‘footway’ ) as they are classed as carriages and therefore should be on the carriageway (aka road) .This has been the case since 1888 when s85(1) of the Local Government Act declared that “bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes, and other similar machines are ‘carriages’ within the meaning of the Highway Acts”.
    The maximum penalty for riding on a footway is a £500 court issued fine or the police may issue a £50 fixed penalty notice. Sadly too many people amongst both cyclists and car drivers/motorcyle riders are unaware of this legislation.
    It never ceases to amaze me how many road users are ignorant of the relevant laws. I have had car drivers threaten to knock me off my motorcycle for filtering at traffic lights ( travelling between lanes to the front of the queue) even tho filtering is quite legal.
    All motorists are required to read and know the Highway code as part of gaining their licence but in my opinion this is insufficient. We should all be required to also know and understand the laws pertaining to usage of the carriageways.

  15. Mitsky says:

    Whilst in an ideal world we wouldn’t need it, I can only suggest getting a helmet camera to record such incidents and explain that the vehicle registration and their face will be shown online and the clip sent to the police who can “advise” them of the truth.

  16. Mara Acoma says:

    As a new cyclist who has only been out and about for a few months, I’ve unfortunately come across this sort of behaviour already. I don’t know what the answer to it is but I’m fairly sure education plays a big part. Why do these people feel entitled? Because they don’t understand ‘the facts’ and society says that ignorance of these facts is ok.

    • Diana says:

      I completely agree. I think drivers attitudes and behaviour is often caused by ignorance and a lack of understanding rather than intentional aggression. There is much work to be done on developing understanding between different road users.

  1. September 24, 2017

    […] After all, cyclists don’t pay ‘road tax‘. […]

  2. May 6, 2018

    […] there is no such thing as ‘road tax’. We pay car tax for our cars. I know this because I pay car tax for my car. I pay it because I have a dirty diesel (we didn’t know what we know now when we bought the […]

  3. June 5, 2018

    […] constraints around women cycling, such as concerns about appearance, transporting children, and a lack of segregated cycle paths. I believe that for many women, a lot comes down to […]

  4. August 5, 2018

    […] the belief that all people are inherently good because so many of them seem to behave like they are inherently bad when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. I have often taken this somewhat personally and felt that a huge amount of negativity is directed […]

  5. September 16, 2018

    […] is a legal limit which keeps the bike classified as a bike, not a moped. Bikes do not need tax (not road tax….Vehicle Excise Duty – I know, I know), license plates, insurance, etc. Mopeds are […]

  6. June 25, 2020

    […] and we have allen keys and would love to raise it for them right now. We know we don’t pay road tax any more than any other road user does and we do not jump red lights whatever someone in a car […]

  7. January 25, 2021

    […] a lot of my cycling time thinking about the other road users I come across. Quite often, these are angry or negative […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: