Edmund King, AA president, said: “We really must get past this dangerous ‘them and us’ mentality that sours interactions between different groups (and even sub-groups) of road users – be they cyclists, motorcyclists or drivers of vehicles large or small.
“A tribal mentality on the roads just fosters road rage which is not good for your blood pressure or road safety. Drivers need to remember that other road users are also human beings with equal rights to share the roads."
According to a new poll commissioned by the AA, 13 percent of motorists are angered by cyclists. However, most are more likely to feel angry with other car drivers when driving. This AA/Populous poll of over 20,000 drivers found that 45 percent of drivers get most annoyed with other car drivers and 18 percent get angry when they see White Van Man.
King’s ‘share the road’ message will be expanded upon at a road safety conference today. His presentation ‘Two Tribes? What drivers think about other road users?’ will be delivered at the Road Safety GB Annual Conference 2012 to be held at the Britannia International Hotel, Canary Wharf, London.
While he’s the president of the AA, the UK’s top motoring organisation, King rides a mountain bike at the weekend, often prefers to get around on a Brompton ("I never drive in London,") and has more in common with CTC president and Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow than motormouth Jeremy Clarkson.
"In an environment where people are being encouraged to walk and cycle, [my] presentation will look at motorists’ perception of vulnerable road users – cyclists, pedestrians (adults and children) and motorcyclists," said King.
Part of his presentation will show the dark underbelly of motoring, the antipathy shown to those not in cars. This is evidenced by the unbidden hate shown against cyclists and now being logged by @cyclehatred on Twitter. This anonymous account has his/her work cut out: retweeting unbidden hatred against cyclists is almost a full-time job. King has said he will use some of the hate tweets in his presentation to road safety professionals.