The video below is funny in a Stephen Merchant sort of way but what’s not funny is the dangerous overtaking by a Mercedes Vito captured by a cyclist’s helmetcam.
Calling Lycra “Lytex” and spouting forth on non-payment of “road tax”, the Mercedes driver committed a number of motoring offences in quick succession.
First, the Merc was driven too close to the cyclist. Rule 163 of the Highway Code states that motorists should “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.”
In the video, an overtaking car gives plenty of room, the following Mercedes Vito does not. The helmetcam wearing cyclist must have remonstrated at this point because the Merc driver later stops to challenge the cyclist. The motorist parked in a potentially dangerous place, causing following cars to slow down to overtake, and opened his door on the cyclist, and was aggressive from the get-go: “What’s your f*cking problem?”
The driver – a painter and decorator going from his garb and the ladder on his car – said:
“I’m in the right, I’m on the road. I’ll tell you what, you f*cking ought to learn how to ride. It’s our roads, you don’t pay no f*cking tax.”
The Merc driver complained about “Lytex boys”. Lytex? A hitherto unknown fabric made from Lycra and Latex, perhaps? The cyclist – redvee2002 – explains “This isn’t Lytex, it’s Lycra.”
This was rebuffed by the excitable motorist as was the cyclist’s attempt to explain the extinction of “road tax” in 1937.
On the video’s comments, xliijoe said:
“Interesting how it is ok for him to put your life at unnecessary risk, because you don’t pay (a fictional) tax. I mean, even if he was right about the tax and even if you were positioning yourself poorly on the road, it would not justify putting your life at risk.
“Imagine if you threatened him with a weapon too, for being an idiot and not paying some tax. Most people would see that as wrong – it seems that if your weapon weighs a ton, it’s morally ok to threaten people with it.”
Road rage motorists do not attack disabled drivers, electric car owners, war pensioners, or farmers for non-payment of VED.
It’s probably futile to point out such facts to apoplectic “road tax” motorists. The iPayRoadTax campaign doesn’t try to reach out to the ranters but instead tries to convince organisations to get their facts straight. The AA, the Campaign for Plain English, and Which Car Magazine now use car tax instead of ‘road tax’. The Post Office has long used this term so is clearly understandable to all.
Motorists pay for their cars, not for use of the road. VED is a tax on emissions, not a road fee. Roads are paid for by general and local taxation, not by motorists directly.
Does the wilful misuse of the term ‘road tax’ bother you? Wear the iPayRoadTax jersey and tell the world!