Facebook threw up a real eye-opener recently, in the form of an anti-cycling group set up by a young man by the name of Luke Collins. The excellently spelled “just want punch cyclest in the head when they wont move out your way” group.
The group, before it was deleted, was a litany of violent anti-cyclist comments from motorists, and showed just how aggressive, selfish and stupid many drivers can be. Not to mention semi-literate and homophobic.
The really sickening part was that the initial profile image used for this group was of an incident during a cycle race in Mexico where a drunk driver ploughed into the peloton, killing one competitor and seriously injuring many others. I (and I’m sure many others) complained about the image and it was eventually changed, before the group as a whole was deleted.
I’d like to think this group started as just some harmless venting from an impatient young driver, but if that was ever the case then the comments soon changed it. There was a sense of the real anger and frustration many motorists seem to feel at having to share “their” roads with slower traffic, and many who felt justified in aggressively and dangerously forcing their way past cyclists who “wont move out your way”.
With regard to improving the UK’s poor record on cycle safety, never mind cycle lanes or debating if helmets should be compulsory, this attitude is wrong and is what really needs to change.