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Old 05-05-2005, 08:10 AM
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Now here's a gentleman who deserves your correspondence, and has, helpfully, providied his name, address, and e-mail addy...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...596323,00.html

Might be an idea to write to Times On-Line, too.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:17 AM
mr.chaz mr.chaz is offline
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Same kinda thing in the Express a couple of weeks ago - probabaly same nutter writing to anyone who'll listen to him.

There were some fine responses to it printed though over the next couple of days following.

I hope the Times restores the balance in the same way too.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:54 AM
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Funny you should say that - here's what i've just posted on other websites:

Actually, it occurs to me that, while it might be fun to abuse the guy in person, it would probably be far more effective and useful to write your own letter to the editor of the Times Online putting the counter view. One letter on it's own probably won't get published, but if they receive enough then a few might.

Keep it clean, polite and to the point, since they may well want to cut it down for publication. You also need to include your daytime phone number, so that they can quickly ask you for permission to publish it.


The e-mail address is:

letters@thetimes.co.uk

I've just sent this one off. I've expanded the issue slightly to get into "safety culture" since that might convince the Times that there's something of general interest there, rather than just a tit-for-tat dead-end.



Sir,

I am writing in response to the letter from Mr. Paul Smith suggesting that motorcycles should be banned or restricted.

Firstly, Mr. Smith is misinformed. Although the total number of motorcycle accidents has gone up slightly in recent years, this is entirely due to the fact that the number of motorcyclists has increased hugely in the same period, rather than because motorcycling has become more dangerous. The accident rate, that is to say, the number of accidents per biker-mile travelled, has actually gone down in recent years, particularly in London where the congestion charge has reduced the number of cars in the city centre but has encouraged bike use, due to their being exempt from the charge. This latter fact, by the way, also demonstrates that perhaps the blame for motorcycle accidents lies not with the bikers themselves, but with inattentive car drivers, and that perhaps improved training for all road uses would be a more appropriate response.

Secondly, and more fundamentally, bikers are volunteers. Nobody forces us to ride motorcycles, and, indeed, most of us start to do so in the teeth of opposition from friends and family who are convinced that we are going to be dead before the end of the week. We are all acutely aware of the risks, but we choose, as adults and citizens, to accept them. Who then is to second guess that choice? If it is accepted that we must be "saved from ourselves", then by the same token, a whole range of risky activities (which also have less practical value than motorcycling) such as rock climbing, potholing, bungee jumping and horse riding (which actually has a worse accident rate than motorcycling) should also be restricted. Can you imagine what a grey and joyless place this country would then become?

It is time to reject the prevalent safety dogma that "all risk must be reduced by all means at any expense" and return to a more balanced and proportional view. The object of this endless risk reduction is, presumably, to improve the quality of people's lives, but if this is only to be acheived by removing all elements of excitement, stimulation, colour, and (dare I suggest anything so irresponsible) fun, then it it will have failed spectacularly, and the depression and suicide rates will provide grim proof of it.


Yours,
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Last edited by WeaverII; 05-05-2005 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:25 AM
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Sent the following to the times and mr smith !!!!!!!!!


Hi.

I have been riding motorcycles for 27 years & a car driver for 20 years. I
have had accidents with both vehicles which have unluckily for me been due
to no fault of my own.

As a car driver I always look out for motorcyclists & cyclists in general, I
make sure I don't crowd them and give them plenty of room when overtaking,
unlike most car drivers.

All my accidents (3) on a motorcycle have been the fault of the car drivers
involved, and in 2 of the case they admitted it was there fault, in the 3rd
case he skipped the country.

My style of motorcycle is not of the modern race style but of the more laid
back style cruiseing at speeds of around 60-65mph, in fact on occassions I
have been surprised by the speed of some of the new motorcycles & cars on
the road. Indeed in the fact how silly a lot of car drivers & motorcyclists
drive/ride on our roads. Most people dont seem to respect the other road
users at all and will quite happily cause accidents by cutting other road
users up or pinching valible brakeing distances by trying to get to there
destination a few minutes earlier.

If you care to take me up I am willing to take a journalist out onto the
roads in my motorcycle and he can see for himself/herself how stupid some
road users are...

I suspect Mr Paul Smith has never ridden a motorcycle and therefore has no
right or can substanciate his remarks.

I have lost many mates on there motorcycles and im most cases it was not
there fault.

But we all face these risks when we first get our bikes and we accept them
and on the whole we mostly act accordingly. In fact most of the motorcycle
accidents and bad riding is from the so called 40 plus brigade who in the
50s,60s & 70's had motorcycles which they then trade in for a car. But as
the family grows up the yearning starts again and they go out and buy a
brand new bike without any form of training. They then cannot handle all the
power and this is were the accidents are caused.

We all wish the test was more inline with reality, the same with the
training, but this is unlikely to happen.

Mr P. Smith makes no comment on the large rises in car accidents over the
last few years - I wonder why not ???? In fact with the way peoples
attitudes are these days and the easy driving tests its no wonder there are
accidents. as they have no experiance !!!!

We all hear about black accident spots and killer roads - nonsence its the
people who drive/ride on them. If they drove/Ride to the road & weather
conditions & stopped trying to emulate a formula 1 driver then the accident
rate will drop dramatically.

if you wish to discuss this further then i can be contacted on 07957 375463
or thefatonet@hotmail.com.

Yours faithfully

Creature
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2005, 01:19 PM
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Looks like they got a few letters, then......



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...599571,00.html
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