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Letter: Lower Driving Standards Increase Risks for Motorcyclists

Published on: 13 May, 2017
Updated on: 13 May, 2017

From James Robinson

In response to: Third Local Motorcycling Collision Within Three Days Reported

Driving standards have visibly dropped over the last five years. I don’t know if this is due to technology overload or poor car design. In the push to pass crash test ratings, car manufacturers are reducing the size of windows and increasing blind spots. It really doesn’t make for safe biking.

Having ridden a motorcycle pretty much every day for the last seven years, through sun, wind, rain, and snow, this year has been the worst in terms of nearly being taken out by car drivers.

In the last week alone, I’ve had a transit nearly “T-bone” me as they ran a red light, was nearly taken out by a car pulling from their drive without looking, and have been overtaken by an impatient car driver while I was sat at a well-established red light on the busy junction of Stoughton Road and Grange Road at 8.20am, school run time.

It didn’t get them very far as they got stuck in front of me at the next lights. How stupid.

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Responses to Letter: Lower Driving Standards Increase Risks for Motorcyclists

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    At the risk of being accused of getting on my personal hobby horse again, I’d say that the virtual lack of traffic police on the roads is also a contributory factor to the abysmal standard of driving and riding we see every day now. Surrey Police has decimated its traffic department over the past 15 years and to see a police traffic patrol car on a motorway is a rare thing indeed.

    I have just spent a week up in Hull and travelling both up and down via the motorway system during the daytime. I didn’t see a single marked police car (and I’m pretty good at spotting the unmarked traffic cars too) and only two Highways England Traffic patrol vehicles, who are, of course, not police and nave no enforcement powers.

    The only “police” vehicle I saw (probably crewed by a member of non-police staff), was the speed camera van sitting at the side of the southbound A3 at Send. Very good for earning revenue, but useless for dealing with all the mobile phone, dodgy number plates, middle lane hoggers, tailgaters and unroadworthy vehicles I saw on my journeys.

  2. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    As we all know, to ride a motorcycle on the road requires passing a test. If I recall correctly there are at least two practical tests, depending on the standard of licence you want.

    As indicated, every day is a learning experience, and like cyclists, you have to ride defensively to survive.
    Car drivers pass one practical test, that doesn’t even go on motorways and other trunk roads and drive around in a steel safety cell.

    As stated, the drive is to make that car “bubble” safer and safer whatever the driver does, though there are some concessions in ‘soft’ design of the front end to reduce injury to other road users.

    Why hasn’t the staged licence system of motorcycling been extended to four wheels. Why hasn’t some form of competency check accompanied the introduced licence renewal every 10 years.

    Perhaps because they are not considered a soft target like bikers?

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