Prejudice against cyclists might not have an officially recognised name, but whether you call it autochauvinism, veloism or manslaughter apologism there’s little denying it exists. And while it may not manifest itself as discrimination against cyclists as a class in quite the same way as other prejudices, discrimination against cycling as an activity is undeniably murderous in its outcome.
Social media platforms are saturated with prejudice towards cyclists.
Views like those expressed above are legitimised not only by the social media platforms – who absolve themselves of any publisher responsibility – but by endless articles in the mainstream media normalise prejudice against cyclists. Anti-cycling rhetoric and behaviour is not only tolerated, but encouraged. Unfortunately, this discrimination is not viewed as incitement – despite the fact that many thousands of cyclists are seriously injured on British roads every year and there are numerous examples of drivers targetting cyclists deliberately. Make no mistake, cyclists are dying as a result.
Given that anti-cyclist behaviour is considered a socially-acceptable hate crime and helps sell papers across almost all quarters, the media are not about to stop of their own accord.
Goths, men, women and elderly people could soon receive protection under hate crime laws following a review of current legislation by The Law Commission. However, rather than waste time extending the existing list, perhaps we should redefine the offence.
Currently the term ‘hate crime’ in law can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are known as ‘protected characteristics’. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property.
If we broadened the definition to any prejudice-motivated crime that occurred when a perpetrator targeted a victim because of his or her membership of a certain social group, we would all benefit – whether or not we cycled.
Ethical cycle insurance
Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, they devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. No wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.