I agree with David Cameron “I want to give the motorist a fair deal.”

David Cameron says:

“I want to give the motorist a fair deal.” via Student arrested after protest at David Cameron visit – JournalLive.

I agree, but I am not sure motorists want a fair deal. Let’s consider what a fair deal for motorists might include:

To me a key element of a “fair deal” is a sense of justice. So for a “fair deal” we should offer motorists justice. To do this we would have to:

  • Be fair and just in punishing all criminals, such as those who break the speed limit or who park where they shouldn’t. H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.
  • Be fair and just in our sentencing. A teacher that kills a child will be banned from teaching for life and imprisoned for many years. So a driver who kills a child should be banned from driving for life and imprisoned for many years. H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.
  • Be fair and just in our employment law. Someone using a mobile phone while operating dangerous machinery in a factory would at least lose their job. So drivers using a mobile phone while driving for work should lose their job. H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.
  • Be fair and just to employers. Dangerous machinery must have guards and safety equipment to protect the operator and others around, the consequences of not doing this are presumably fines and the risk of being shut down. So therefore all vehicles provided by or used for work must also have appropriate safety guards such as gps tracking that prevents them breaking the speed limit, breathalyser connected to the ignition,  full safety inspections and certificates, appropriate training, the requirement to wear safety equipment such as a helmet and hi vis jacket etc or face fines or shut down. H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.

It looks like maybe motorists don’t want a “fair deal” to mean justice.

Maybe by “fair deal” David Cameron is thinking of costs. Do motorists want to pay a fair cost?

  • A fair tax presumably means you are covering the full cost of your activity. For motorists that means the full cost not just of maintaining and developing the road network but also the external costs such as provision of emergency services, treating those injured on the roads, paying compensation to the families of those killed, paying for the damage caused by pollution (CO2, particulates, noise etc), congestion, health care caused by the motoring contribution to obesity, heart disease etc, the time lost to business through ill-health and congestion caused by driving etc etc. Sadly at the moment motorists pay far less in tax than the costs of these elements, therefore we will need to increase the cost of motoring significantly.H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.
  • A fair cost presumably means that motorists will pay a fair price for the space taken by residential parking as well as parking in town and city centres. With the current pressure on land space, the costs to the environment of parking (water run off etc), the opportunity cost of not being able to use the space for other uses (pedestrian, cyclist, parks etc) it is clear that currently car parking is highly subsidized and so costs will need to be raised by a very large amount. H’mm, maybe that is not the fair deal motorists want.

It looks like maybe motorists don’t want a “fair deal” to mean a fair cost.

After thinking about it I have decided that the very last thing many motorists want is to be given a fair deal by David Cameron. As a pedestrian and cyclist I fully support David Cameron in his brave decision to be fair to the motorist.

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19 Comments.

  1. I agree, I would like to see the motorist pay their fair share of the cost of motoring, rather than receiving a subsidy from the rest of us.

  2. Great post! Even the one thing that motorists think they pay for (building/maintaining roads) is highly subsidized by non-motorists. Thanks for pointing out many other external costs that are subsidized by all of society.

  3. But motorists have a divine right to be on the roads and pollute all they like and they shouldn’t have to pay for it!

    Cycling is so much cheaper!

  4. Yes I too agree that motorists need to be treated fairly.
    For each and every ‘cyclist dismount’ sign, there should be a ‘motorist get out and push’ sign.
    Roads should terminate for no particular reason, just as cycle paths do and it should be illegal to record these features on maps and GPS systems etc.
    Roads should be limited to no more than 100 metres in length.
    Roads should be blocked by unlit bollards, lamp posts, rubbish bins telephone boxes, railings, trees, fences, holes, gratings, bus shelters etc. placed randomly in the carriageway around blind bends.
    Roads should never be swept or maintained.
    Traffic lanes should be limited to no more than 2/3 of a car’s width.
    Cars should be forced into conflict with heavy goods vehicles.
    Bridges should only be accessible by stairs.
    Car parking facilities should only be accessible by stairs, (for the cars) and never be placed within 5 miles of the intended destination.
    It should be illegal for anyone involved in road design to know anything about road design, they must have a sadistic sense of humour.

  5. @ Amoeba.

    brilliant!

  6. What a load of crap, how can you possibly factor heart disease and obesity into motoring!!! You should instead consider the impact McDonalds, Smoking, Binge Drinking, Lack of Excercise and other factors have on this, not motoring!! I do not binge drink, smoke or eat the shit McDonalds churn out so I certainly don’t want to be paying for those that do through car tax, when they have a heart attack. I assume you are all whining becasue you are cyclists, in that case, you should ride on the pavement it is safer for you, you dont see cyclists on train tracks, you should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for undertaking which is an illegal manouver for anyone else, you should be prosecuted for not obeying traffic signals, you should also have to take out insurance should you cause an accident involving motor vehicles, while not following the afore mention rules of the road, should these actions result in a motor vehicle causing a fatality a cyclist should be held liable by your logic. You also neglected to mention the cost of creating cycle lanes which is also not funded by road tax, so where is the cyclist contribution to those, it can’t be funded purely by the 3 people that use it? And from what your saying, cycles should be inspected and issued a safety certificate.

    [quote](building/maintaining roads) is highly subsidized by non-motorists.[/quote]
    That right but no contribution is made by cyclists that also use them, is that correct? Yet you will quite happily whine all the way down the new road leading to the new supermarket. So by your logice motorists should pay even more for these roads, while you get to use them for free and even build stupid little cycles lanes on them?
    [quote]But motorists have a divine right to be on the roads [/quote]
    Exactly, just as trains do to be on train tracks!

    • Aiden,

      Thanks for rant, sadly you are badly mis-informed on the issues.

      Are you trying to claim that motoring has no impact on obesity and heart disease? Especially when you specifically include “lack of exercise” as having an impact. “Lack of exercise” is a key result of motoring both a) in terms of replacing walking & cycling and b) making walking & cycling less safe & less attractive. That makes no sense. Remember that all the other countries with better records on both heart disease and obesity also have McDonalds etc. they key difference between the UK and them is road transport.

      Given that motorists frequently like to claim cyclists are always breaking the law it is amusing that you are suggesting that we all break the law all the time. It is illegal for cyclists to ride on the pavement as they are not designed for that use and it is dangerous for pedestrians.

      Please also note that you do not pay road tax, nobody does. As a tax payer I contribute to the cost roads and all the other costs of road transport which far exceed the contributions directly from motorists through VED, fuel tax etc (as a car owner I also pay VED and fuel duty anyway).

      There are plenty of reports, some of which I have linked to in the past which demonstrate that encouraging cycling is in the best interests of all in society including motorists (less congestion for them for example).

    • Aidan,
      Some areas of research that you may find of benefit:

      ‘Road Tax’ try http://www.ipayroadtax.com
      Google: ‘Cycle facility of the month’
      and
      The ‘Dunning-Kruger Effect’
      —–
      Johnathan Swift and Ben Franklin both apparently said:
      ‘You cannot reason a man out of an opinion into which he was not reasoned to begin with.’

  7. [quote]
    It should be illegal for anyone involved in road design to know anything about road design, they must have a sadistic sense of humour.

    Cars should be forced into conflict with heavy goods vehicles.

    Car parking facilities should never be placed within 5 miles of the intended destination.
    [/quote]

    That is already the case, perhaps you were expecting motorists or even the tax payer you build you a cyclist only parking facility, presumably that you could use for free? Every car parking facility is funded by parking charges, Northamptonshire council made an excess of £40,000.00 last year alone from car parks that did not issue change.

    [quote]Roads should terminate for no particular reason, just as cycle paths do and it should be illegal to record these features on maps and GPS systems etc.[/quote]

    They only exist for cars because many people drive, this is not a motorists fault, this is cycling being less profitable in producing maps and GPS for, perhaps if mor people did it there would be a market for it.

    • Aiden.

      Again you seem to have only a passing connection to facts.

      In many places in the UK planning regulations require shops and offices to provide car parking.

      Cyclists are also tax payers and given that motorists do not pay the full cost of road transport we are used to subsidising you.

      You have missed the opportunity cost of all the land tied up in car parks that could be used for revenue and job creating activity. A recent report in the US had a huge estimate for the cost to the country for this.

      You have got things the wrong way round. As the example of the Netherlands and Copenhagen show if cycle facilities are of a high quality then a high % of the population will cycle which is very good for the whole population.

    • Aidan,
      Why is everything you say so wrong?

      Cyclists already have dedicated GPS. (it was a joke)
      Pedestrians also pay for the roads, through general taxation.

      Over 99% of pedestrian fatalities result from conflict with motor-vehicles. From 1998-2008, in the UK, motor-vehicles killed an average of 745 pedestrians per year (two per day) with 74.5 (one every five days) killed on the pavement. And just so you don’t complain about ‘dangerous cyclists’: Cyclists killed an average of 2.73 pedestrians per year (one every four months eleven days) with 0.273 killed (one every three years eight months) on the pavement. (DfT figures)
      (Assumes that 10% of pedestrian casualties occur on pavement or verge as was the case 2007-2008)

      Then there are the deaths from traffic pollution, none of which can be blamed on cyclists: probably at least 2,450 per year.

      Motorists whining about money seem rather selfish when people are losing their lives in droves, don’t they?

    • You’d think that my fellow Northamptonian motorists would have learned to carry the correct change. Once bitten …

  8. Catastrophic loss of brains at the RAC « 42 Bikes - pingback on February 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm
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