‘It’s ridiculous’

16 Nov

In a piece on BBC news today various motorists were saying how fuel prices were ‘ridiculous’ and that the government should ‘do something’. After all, this is all the government’s fault and no one could have predicted that fuel prices were going to increase.

Here are a couple of images from the piece. Forgive me if I am wrong, but is the first car not just a tad larger and more fuel-hungry than the driver needs it to be? Is it also not a very dangerous car?

Ridiculous car?

And can’t I just about make out a cyclist fighting his way through a line of stationary vehicles?

A ridiculously busy cycle path?

What is disappointing is the choice of imagery that the BBC chose to feature without any critical comments or rebuttal form any non-motoring angle. Why didn’t they interview anyone who had adjusted their lives to avoid this totally predictable situation? Why did they not interview anyone who is building a business and benefiting from the shifts that are coming with changes as fuel prices rise? Why didn’t they interview the cyclist?

Of course this is not the first time the BBC has pretended that pedestrians did not exist. I wrote a blog post some time back about a BBC article on ‘ending road fatalities’ that failed to mention pedestrians once!

Update (and sort of retraction!)

I have be reminded by a comment below that the BBC also do some great news stories about cycling such as this one on Look East (starting at 20 minutes). Apologies to the BBC, but I was just so offended by the image of the first car that I was prompted to write this post.

3 Responses to “‘It’s ridiculous’”

  1. Simon Nuttall November 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi Peter,

    but the BBC has done a positive story about cycling on Look East, starting at 20:57 into

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0176mw2/Look_East_West_16_11_2011/

    and cycling is getting quite er, a sort of ‘push’ on the OneShow this week.

    Greetings,

    Simon

  2. livinginabox November 17, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Peter,
    It wasn’t immediately obvious, but the “Cars fail in ‘pedestrian safety’ tests” article is apparently from 2002. However, this fact doesn’t detract from your point. According to my reading of the most recent tests 2006/2007 Euro NCAP, Land Rovers are still rated only one star for pedestrian safety, which is absolutely appalling.
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/land_rover.aspx

    Looking at Euro NCAP, it seems that pre 2009 models were very much worse. From a quick look, only Honda seemed to be the leader in taking efforts in pedestrian safety at the time, getting three stars out of five, most others received one or two stars.
    http://www.euroncap.com/carsearch.aspx?q=pedestrian%20safety

    And it also has to be said that the average age of cars is increasing.
    “The average age of cars on UK roads rose in 2010 to 7.25 years, which is a 14 year high.  The trend for older cars is rising and we believe this could continue for several years to come,” Tony Gannon, communications director, BCA, said.

  3. livinginabox November 17, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    We have to stop using fossil fuels, and drivers are subsidised by the rest of us to use their vehicles. Drivers do not pay the external costs of driving. These are air pollution and deaths and morbidity arising from it; noise and deaths and morbidity arising from it; Congestion – time lost; Road deaths and injuries; and etc. Fuel costs should be increasing to cover these costs, not decreasing.

    High fuel costs will discourage car use – a good thing; it will encourage drivers to purchase more efficient vehicles and drive more fuel efficiently. This in turn should encourage manufacturers to make better, more fuel-efficient and safer cars for the non-driving public.

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