That's an interesting theory and I would agree:
No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order.
Driving is a very moral activity – there are rules of the road, both legal and informal, and there are good and bad drivers. The whole intricate dance of the rush-hour junction only works because people know the rules and by-and-large follow them: keeping in lane; indicating properly; first her turn, now mine, now yours. Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren't allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside.
Does kind of ring true doesn't it?
Still does not seem "moral" to use a 1+ tonne lump of metal to threaten what amounts basically to a person on the road, unfortunately many motorists do not see a person they see a bloody bike.
Now if the article is correct then it would be great to change the state of things. Not an easy task for sure, they tell me even in Holland they have motorists who do the wrong thing around cyclists. Still more people cycling means more bike aware motorists, gotta be a good thing.
I may harp on a bit but I reckon Strict Liability Legislation would help. The article talks about punishment and how that modifies behaviour - Pavlov's dog - woof woof. Would also modify cyclist behaviour around pedestrians, that would also be a good thing...
Anyway, I'll keep dreaming, gotta have a dream to make one come true they tell me ;-)
I think it is pure jealousy - bikes are more flexible than cars; whizzing past lines of stationary traffic, filtering up to the front of traffic lights, dismounting to avoid lights..etc
+1 and it's not just limited to motorists vs cyclists but also motorist vs motorist, motorist vs ped, person a vs person b.
In my view, it's an extension of the 'tall poppy syndrome' that this country is famous for - instead of thinking 'hey, that person is pretty clever for riding a bike and skipping traffic' it becomes about 'hey, how can they get away with that, that's unfair, they're cheating and I'm stuck in traffic etc.'
Hell, when I'm in a car, I admit (and am not proud of the fact) I get pissed off when motos and scooter filter and cruise through bike lanes to get ahead when I'm crawling along in peak hour. 'It's against the law' I cry and shake my fist while my wife tells me to STFU and get on with life. I've come to the realisation she's giving the best advice. Life's too short.
Agree totally wujim. The vast majority of road users just accept cyclists as part of the road pattern. Some even allow more room than they need to. And then, just occasionally, someone takes offence that you got in their way by being on the road. These are the ones who, perhaps, are having a bad day and pick on an easy target. Or whatever. Just got to let em go.
I think the trouble cyclists encounter is inversely proportional to the ride experience they have.
I really don't follow the strawman argument he's constructed based upon flawed assumptions & false premise. Yes there are road rules (formal and informal), but motorists on the whole have the option to ignore them (and often do) because they are cocooned in their impervious land-barge, and have a sense of entitlement because thy have "paid their rego". A motorist knows that it is their road and everyone should get out of my way. As a result, the whole road system does not work, as demonstrated by the phenomenon called "traffic".
Cyclists, contrary to being "rebels", are largely law-abiding and deeply conservative in their approach to travel because we are keenly aware of our vulnerability. Cyclists are the nerds of the road, waving cheerfully to our companions, helping the less fortunate we encounter on our travels and being picked on by the bullies in their cars.
Motorists are the true "free riders" in his argument because the people on bicycles, buses trains and driving freight trucks are paying disproportionately high costs - via general taxation & fuel tax - to the creation of roads for freeloaders in cars. Using his genetic-altruistic argument, all motorists should be blissfully happy and mildly ashamed to be taking too much advantage of this communal road, at the expense of everyone else they run off the road in their attempt to jump the queue.
Yeah but its the times when we cruise through stopped traffic to the front of the queue they are referring to. Or take to the footpath to get ahead, or turn without indicating - all those little things people see cyclists do.
This comes from a whole history where roads were originally NOT for cars (they weren't invented), and then car companies lobbied and advertised to make roads their place so they could sell cars. And this gave motorists a sense of ownership that has only got stronger. *Someone will know this history better than me, but I think the principle is correct.
Now cyclists are starting to invade that territory more, motorists are unconsciously feeling their rights are being threatened. I think that's part of the picture as well.