Bicycles don’t kill people; cars do

By Harry Mount
Last updated: April 22nd, 2012

Source: The Telegraph

A bike can't harm anyone © Harry Mount

A bike can’t harm anyone
© Harry Mount

And that’s what makes the remarks of John Griffin, founder and chairman of the cab firm Addison Lee, so depressing.

In a glaring non sequitur, Griffin says that, because cab drivers are protected by air bags and impact bars, and bicyclists have little more than a helmet, it is then the cyclists’ fault that the roads are so dangerous. That is precisely why drivers should be particularly considerate of cyclists. A bike can do little harm to a driver. Cars kill cyclists.

In every comment, Griffin reveals an underlying wrong assumption – that roads are for cars, and bicyclists are mere interlopers. At one point, he writes, “These cyclists are throwing themselves onto some of the most congested spaces in the world.”

No, they’re not – every cyclist is a legitimate part of that traffic, not some unsanctioned addition to it. And every cyclist reduces the amount of congestion they would have otherwise caused if they’d chosen to take to the road in a big, largely stationary, metal box, rather than a tiny, lightweight collection of thin metal rods, almost always in motion.

Despite the increasing popularity of bikes, Britain remains an anti-bicycling country. The idea of a Griffin figure saying such a thing would be ludicrous in civilised, pro-bicycling countries  like Holland.

There is only one way to cure this small-minded cyclophobia – get on your bike.