The danger is that columnists such as this journo demonise riders.
This enshrines the old “temporary Australians” tag that seems to give license to motorists to bully vulnerable riders on the road and not show them any respect. That leads to road rage and death
We tried to contact the Newcastle Herald to redress the columnist’s dangerous rhetoric and interview the author to seek a valid explanation for his article, but we have so far not received a reply.
Fighting rhetoric with fact
So, rather than fighting baseless rhetoric with more rhetoric, we have answered each of his claims with logic and fact:
Daredevils: Yes, riders take risks, but so do many other motorists. At least most riders mitigate risks by wearing more than the bare legal minimum protection of a helmet. Riders are also far more likely to seek advanced rider training after licensing than car drivers;
Horror stats encourage risk takers: Really? Do horror stats about domestic violence encourage wife beaters, or do horror stats about fast foods and sugar encourage obesity, or do horror cancer stats encourage people to get a sunburn? We could go on …
Lower bike speed limits on winding roads: It’s the slow four-wheeled traffic on these roads that causes the problem of frustration for other road users, encouraging dangerous overtaking;
Nothing more to bikes than thrills: Agreed that motorcycles provide thrills, but they are also a practical form of transport and a solution to traffic congestion, limited parking spaces and air pollution. Motorcycle tourism is also conservatively estimated to be worth $350m a year, particularly to regional areas such as Newcastle and the Hunter region (the Blue Gum Cafe on the Putty Rd would close if riders were banned from the road); and
“The motorbike would not be allowed on the roads if it were invented now”: This is such a tired old aphorism that shows lazy journalism. By the same token, internal combustion engines would not be allowed if they were invented now!
What do you think of this columnist’s call for a rider ban? Leave your comments below.