On my commute to work today, I was witness to a very nasty bit of road rage.
A cyclist was nearly hit by a car, who I can only presume didn’t indicate when he cut across lanes, and pulled over to say something to the driver. I arrived at the point where the driver was hanging out of his car window, shouting and swearing at the rather bemused cyclist. He shouted something that has stuck with me for the rest of the day.
‘I don’t care that I nearly ran you over, I pay my road tax to drive on these fucking roads.’
I’m not sure that I would have been able to control myself if a driver shouted this at me, but the cyclists simply raised his eyebrows and said back: ‘ You don’t care if you nearly killed me? How about you tell my wife and kids that….’ At this point the traffic lights turned green and everyone went on their merry way…
But this argument has been going around in my head all day.
I’m sure every cyclist reading this has had to pull this fact out the bag at an angry driver – but sorry chaps, but road tax doesn’t exist. It was abolished in 1937 and replaced with Vehicle Excise Duty.
VED is a tax on cars, not roads, and it goes straight into the general Treasury. It should really be classified as a pollution tax, since it’s now based on the size of engine and emissions. Ultra-low emissions vehicles are exempted – and what has ultra, ultra, ULTRA low emissions? Bikes.
In fact, council tax is spent on the upkeep of roads. Do cyclists pay council tax? Yes. So we have just as much right to use the roads as car drivers do.
I’m far from advocating stopping in busy traffic to have a pop at car drivers who nearly run you over, despite having my fair share of those experiences, but come on car/bus/taxi/lorry drivers.
We can surely all share the road and play nicely? Surely?