BBC complaint

Thinking Streets” was broadcast 3/1/12 21:00 and re-broadcast 15:30 4/1/12. I submitted the following comment.

In the opening vox-pop, two people openly said they would like to kill cyclists. I understand in the context of the program that this was to set up an idea that some think the roads are a “war zone”, but I can think of no other class of people against whom such a threat would be broadcast on the BBC.

I was deliberately knocked off my bike by a road-rage driver, who fled the scene. Despite a positive ID, he was never prosecuted. These attitudes are common. Your broadcast gives the impression they are acceptable. This is irresponsible.

Otherwise the program was interesting and engaging, though I disagree with your charicterisation of shared space as being common in the Netherlands. It isn’t. The Dutch seperate their traffic, with high quality, seperate cycle paths with ‘shared space’ in only a few small urban areas.

Let’s see what happens.

7 replies
  1. Simon
    Simon says:

    There is one major difference here in the Netherlands you ought to know about: in any incident involving a bicycle and a car, the car driver is by definition in the wrong and must show that they were paying sufficient attention. Even when the cyclist is doing something stupid (like a schoolgirl crossing your path with earplugs in, texting on their phone – which is legal on a bike), if you knock them off, you are legally guilty and have to prove your innocence. Consequently, we look out very carefully for cyclists and give them a wide margin.

  2. brian B
    brian B says:

    Unfortunately too many cyclists are complete morons these days. I routinely have to avoid packs of lycra-clad idiots riding side by side through city streets, and I don't even drive a car – I walk to work sometimes, or ride a pushbike others, or ride a motorbike. I am constantly having to put up with cyclists running red lights, going the wrong way up one way streets, riding along pavements as if they own them, riding 3 or 4 abreast so it's impossible to get past them, and generally treating everyone else – even other cyclists – with contempt. I know the majority of cyclists – me included – stick to the rules and dont go around behaving like this. However, there are now far too many imbeciles on 2 wheels who frankly I would run over without batting an eyelid, if I owned a car or (better) an Abrams tank.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    You ride a motorbike and find it hard overtaking a pack of cyclists? You must be unique.

    There are good and bad in every group but I see more lawbreaking by drivers than cyclists and it isn't cyclists that kill around 2000 road users in the UK each year.

  4. Dutchert
    Dutchert says:

    It's even better in the NLs: only smaller residential roads have no bike paths; every larger or through going road has at least a separate lane, most of the time also phsyically separate from the car lanes.

  5. Longrider
    Longrider says:

    You ride a motorbike and find it hard overtaking a pack of cyclists? You must be unique.

    Er, no, it all depends upon the circumstances. It is not always safe to overtake just because your vehicle is narrower than a car.

    The Highway Code is clear on the matter of riding two or more abreast – no more than two and don't do it on busy roads or round bends.

    That said, many people on two wheels simply do not ride assertively enough. Use the lanes properly. Kerb hugging is a sure way to encourage unsafe overtaking and being knocked off.


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