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Road tax for bikes?

MurnauMurnau Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Road general
I've recently noticed drivers getting more and more aggressive towards me on the road, I got hit by a bottle yesterday, and a car ran me off the road today, with the passenger shouting at me about not paying road tax. It's really starting to ruin the experience of cycling for me, but I was wondering if there is a way for cyclists to pay road tax? I already pay it on my car, but would happily pay it (and to be honest it wouldn't be much more than £10 a year) if it meant motorists would treat me with respect on the road.

Failing that, I suppose the real solution would be for the government to simply abolish vehicle excise duty completely (and maybe recoup the costs through an increase in fuel duty), as all it seems to do is give motorists a sense of entitlement on the roads.
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  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Lots of cars are tax exempt, it's about emissions. Bikes give off no emissions, ergo no tax.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 753
    You want to get yourself a road tax jersey like I have - Google it. Ignorant people like that should have their licences taken off them.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Today it's "road tax" - take that argument away and they'll think of something else.

    Basically it's "you're holding me up" or "I want to feel big by having a go at someone who can't easily attack me" - probably more of the later these days.

    Think about where you encounter these sorts of incidents and if there is a patten then avoid those areas. Another option would be to ride with others - safety in numbers and all that - you may still get "attacked" - but if you're in a club group ride with a dozen others then you've got a lot of support.
  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,101
    Presumably you pay tax? I'm retired (sort of), but was a higher rate tax payer when I was working, so simply point out that it's my taxes that paid the benefits that allow the feckers to breed and will pay for their health care when they are sclerotice, demented and too fat to move. The non existence of "road tax" has been discussed endlessly here and elsewhere.
  • It has been estimated that by cycling, you save the average tax payer something like £600 a year.

    It's got absolutely nothing to do with tax, but the attitudes of people who feel they have a god given right to own the road. Maybe a better idea would be to get rid of vehicle excise duty and transfer it to fuel/income tax/or whatever else? Then it becomes a non issue.
  • Road tax was abolished in 1937.

    In this country you pay tax. The govt decides what to spend it on. I have three cars and two of those pay no Emissions duty .............. it is an endemic problem on our roads that people think their journey and their way of driving/riding is the pinnacle. Anything you do: don't go fast enough, ride a bicycle, dither for two seconds or stop to park, is open to abuse.

    If I am cycling alone I just get out of the way, pull in, wave cars through etc. Just to stay safe. But I think if we all pulled over or did this as a group once a ride the world would become a lot friendlier. I must admit my club rides are becoming chaotic. They have gone from one disciplined ride of about 12, to two rides of about 20 in the space of a couple of years. Basically 20 people is a road block, single double whatever and the way some of them rode a complete menace as well.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Stop apologising for being on the road, you have every right to be there. You wouldn't pay tax to walk along a pavement would you? Motorists seem to think that they are the only ones who are allowed to be outside. Cyclists, walkers, horse riders, tractors, lorries etc are all inconveniences to the great god of the car. Get out and ride.
  • Road tax was abolished in 1937.

    If i had a penny for everytime I have read this ludicrous statement on this forum I'd have £5.63
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Road tax was abolished in 1937.

    If i had a penny for everytime I have read this ludicrous statement on this forum I'd have £5.63

    Agreed - it's as childish as saying "The Sky isn't blue it's clear. The blue is a refraction of the light"

    The majority of ppl pay tax to have their cars on the road - hence it's common name of Road Tax.

    Surely we're grown up enough to use a better argument than the above!
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    We are probably going to fall in line with a lot of European countries and put the tax into fuel so its more pay per mile. I hope so cos im sick of hearing this rant every few months
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    Murnau wrote:
    I've recently noticed drivers getting more and more aggressive towards me on the road, I got hit by a bottle yesterday, and a car ran me off the road today, with the passenger shouting at me about not paying road tax. It's really starting to ruin the experience of cycling for me, but I was wondering if there is a way for cyclists to pay road tax? I already pay it on my car, but would happily pay it (and to be honest it wouldn't be much more than £10 a year) if it meant motorists would treat me with respect on the road.

    Failing that, I suppose the real solution would be for the government to simply abolish vehicle excise duty completely (and maybe recoup the costs through an increase in fuel duty), as all it seems to do is give motorists a sense of entitlement on the roads.

    you're deluded if you think aggression towards cyclists is due to a perceived payment of tax
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    That's the main issue isn't it; "YOU DON'T PAY ROAD TAX"; it's not like I have the opportunity to do so is it? If you want cyclists to pay 'road tax', then lobby the government to bring it in, I can't pay a tax which doesn't exist.

    But; as said; the reason some motorists act like this is the same reason the small kids got picked on at school, it's because they are bullying cowards who see someone on a bicycle as someone who is beneath them and they can easily push around.
  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 907
    What a bizarre argument :/

    Taxation is either to raise revenue or to discourage public bads. Driving is a public bad, it causes congestion, and pollution. Cycling is a public good and should be encouraged. There are many good arguments for not only taxing car use, but also giving tax breaks to encourage cycling.

    Besides, the argument is academic anyway, drivers don't view cyclists as a nuisance as they don't pay road tax, they view them as annoying as they are (generally) slower, smaller and force them to think. Complaining about that sounds selfish, so they choose the road tax argument as a stick to beat them with. If it wasn't road tax then it would be insurance or other perceived collective transgressions like RLJ.
    Bianchi C2C - Ritte Bosberg - Cervelo R3
    Strava
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    You're missing the point entirely if you think paying "road tax" is going to make everything better.
    If facts mattered then these people would already know that there's no such thing as "road tax" it's "motor tax". So on that basis there's no problem to start with. (I live in Ireland and it's "motor tax" but motorists do throw around the "you don't pay road tax" nonsense - I believe its the same in the UK but feel free to correct me)

    Unfortunately there's no easy solution for ignorance. The government and media certainly have a responsibility to stop reinforcing the prejudices of the ignorant. In reality cyclists are going to get a hard time unless enough of the population cycle to make anti-cycling talk socially unacceptable. Thankfully that's not looking totally unrealistic in Ireland and Britain but there's still a long way to go.

    I would totally oppose your suggestion that cyclists should pay a "road tax" unless there's a damn good, and fair, argument made for it, that has nothing to do with buying tolerance from ignorant motorists. That's a silly, naive and unethical idea. Should pedestrians start paying footpath & road tax so the ignorant won't abuse them?
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    ai_1 wrote:
    You're missing the point entirely if you think paying "road tax" is going to make everything better.
    If facts mattered then these people would already know that there's no such thing as "road tax" it's "motor tax". So on that basis there's no problem to start with. (I live in Ireland and it's "motor tax" but motorists do throw around the "you don't pay road tax" nonsense - I believe its the same in the UK but feel free to correct me)

    In the UK it's Vehicle Excise Duty or VED. On government websites it's generally referred to as Car Tax. It's not unknown for the government to refer to it as Road Tax but it's usually swiftly corrected after 100,000 people point out the error.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    mattsaw wrote:
    ......drivers don't view cyclists as a nuisance as they don't pay road tax, they view them as annoying as they are (generally) slower, smaller and force them to think. Complaining about that sounds selfish, so they choose the road tax argument as a stick to beat them with. If it wasn't road tax then it would be insurance or other perceived collective transgressions like RLJ.
    Like most of us, I'm both a cyclist and a motorist. Cyclists occasionally frustrate me when I'm driving but that's my problem! Unfortunately, those who only drive find it much easier to think cyclists are the bad guys.

    The fact is that busy, narrow roads are not conducive to harmonious shared use by vehicles travelling at drastically differing speeds. Cyclists, tractors, horse boxes and caravans all cause frustration for impatient drivers (like me!) but that doesn't make it acceptable to abuse them. They're just as entitled do be there as anyone else. End of story.

    A good and crucially, fit for purpose, cycleway network would make a big difference but as long as we're sharing the roads, education and empathy are the only solution. Incidentally that goes both ways. I've heard many cyclists talking just as ignorantly about motorists as any motorists do about cyclists. If you want respect you've got to be willing to give it too.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Do drivers of electric cars get hit by bottles or sworn at for not paying 'road tax' ? Nope.

    I'd ride elsewhere if people threw things at me, or get a go pro or two on the bike.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    cougie wrote:
    Do drivers of electric cars get hit by bottles or sworn at for not paying 'road tax' ? Nope.

    If they traveled at the same speed as cyclists then they no doubt would.
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    I bet Hitler would have taxed the censored out of bikes.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    gozzy wrote:
    I bet Hitler would have taxed the censored out of bikes.

    They had bicycles back in his day you know ;)
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    ai_1 wrote:
    A good and crucially, fit for purpose, cycleway network would make a big difference but as long as we're sharing the roads, education and empathy are the only solution. Incidentally that goes both ways. I've heard many cyclists talking just as ignorantly about motorists as any motorists do about cyclists. If you want respect you've got to be willing to give it too.

    On the face of it, it would be nice to have some closed roads to ride - traffic free, able to ride 2-3 abreast and not worry about the loon that is about to pass you.

    But - segregation brings in expectation - not everyone is going to be near an access point to a cycleway network and there will be a need for some road riding - but those few intolerant drivers will know that there are cycleway networks and expect the cyclist to use them - exclusively - and so the punishment passes and abuse will continue.

    Yes there are knobs on bikes and they need to be educated - but more urgently in need of re-education are the knobs in motor vehicles who bully their way along the road.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Was taking son + a couple of his team-mates to their football over the w/e (U14s) when we approached a cyclist on a country road, and immediately one of the kids in the back spouted along the lines of oh no - it's a cyclist, we'll be held up and be late... Good opportunity to educate the lad so gave him the full spiel - he's not holding us up, and he's only doing the same as us going somewhere ideally safely & without being hassled and we'll be stuck for no more than a handful of seconds - count em. He got to 5 before we able pass & be on our way. Even better was then tacking onto the end of the steady flow of traffic further up the road that slowed us down for much longer, compared with the triviality of 5 secs behind a bike. I asked if him if his dad had taught him that bikes are bad, and he just mumbled somthing or other back, probably 'b0ll0x' under his breath for all I care.

    It's about education - the current generation of drivers is so full of halfwits & idiots that they're beyond help, but teaching kids the reality might have an impact in the coming years.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Good story, one at a time eh :). But it's certainly true that many drivers can't see beyond their bonnet, or that when you're in primary keeping up with the car in front that you're not holding them up!
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Good story, one at a time eh :)
    I had a captive audience of four so it was quite efficient. Mine has heard it all before though; at least he gets it.

    Coincidentally when this team first got together and us as parents were getting to know each other I as a known-cyclist and known associate of other cyclists (guilty as charged m'lud) was given the full flak one morning for everything we do wrong - RLJ, riding too slow, too fast, no lights, too many lights, blah blah, and the perennial favourite Road Tax. I ended up jabbing one chap in the chest with a linesman's flag pointing out that I pay a lot of tax thanks and even if I don't it doesn't give people like you any reason or excuse to run me over thank you very much. I did sense a flicker of recognition in his eyes as I did it, but that could have been his surprise at being given offside whilst drinking coffee before kick-off.
  • MurnauMurnau Posts: 23
    Some good replies on here, thanks. By the way, I wasn't trying to open up another road tax argument, I've been around here long enough to be as weary of those as the rest of you!
    mattsaw wrote:
    Besides, the argument is academic anyway, drivers don't view cyclists as a nuisance as they don't pay road tax, they view them as annoying as they are (generally) slower, smaller and force them to think. Complaining about that sounds selfish, so they choose the road tax argument as a stick to beat them with. If it wasn't road tax then it would be insurance or other perceived collective transgressions like RLJ.

    I think that Mattsaw sums it up well. With the amount of drivers I've heard complaining about us not paying road tax (highlighted by Emma Way's thoughtless Tweet last year), I thought that was their main grievance with cyclists. It's depressing to think that there's ultimately no way to get motorists to respect cyclists more - maybe I should work on getting faster so I don't hold them up so much?
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    The only way it going to improve is if (a) every driver has had to cycle on the roads first (before they get a driving license) and (b) the license to drive is regarded as a priviledge not a right. Raise the minumim age for a full driving license, but provide a decent all pupose bike (just one) at 16. Part of getting a driving license includes having to demonstrate safe cycling disciplines on roads. After that, if you cause an accident you lose your license. No points, no excuses. After set period you can retest (including cycling test). Obviously requires effective detection of unlicensed drivers to be effective, but that should be solvable.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    mpie wrote:
    The only way it going to improve is if (a) every driver has had to cycle on the roads first (before they get a driving license) and (b) the license to drive is regarded as a priviledge not a right. Raise the minumim age for a full driving license, but provide a decent all pupose bike (just one) at 16. Part of getting a driving license includes having to demonstrate safe cycling disciplines on roads. After that, if you cause an accident you lose your license. No points, no excuses. After set period you can retest (including cycling test). Obviously requires effective detection of unlicensed drivers to be effective, but that should be solvable.
    Including some real consideration of cycling in the driving test in some way is a very good idea.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    ai_1 wrote:
    mpie wrote:
    The only way it going to improve is if (a) every driver has had to cycle on the roads first (before they get a driving license) and (b) the license to drive is regarded as a priviledge not a right. Raise the minumim age for a full driving license, but provide a decent all pupose bike (just one) at 16. Part of getting a driving license includes having to demonstrate safe cycling disciplines on roads. After that, if you cause an accident you lose your license. No points, no excuses. After set period you can retest (including cycling test). Obviously requires effective detection of unlicensed drivers to be effective, but that should be solvable.
    Including some real consideration of cycling in the driving test in some way is a very good idea.

    You can't test (effectively) for attitude. People will do/say whatever is required to get that license. My suggestion was based on creating a context designed to develop peoples' attitudes in the right direction. It takes longer, but is ultimately more effective. It's not perfect - we all know how simply getting behind a wheel can shift one's value judgments - but it does at least get at the root of the problem rather than trying to fix the symptoms.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    ai_1 wrote:
    mpie wrote:
    The only way it going to improve is if (a) every driver has had to cycle on the roads first (before they get a driving license) and (b) the license to drive is regarded as a priviledge not a right. Raise the minumim age for a full driving license, but provide a decent all pupose bike (just one) at 16. Part of getting a driving license includes having to demonstrate safe cycling disciplines on roads. After that, if you cause an accident you lose your license. No points, no excuses. After set period you can retest (including cycling test). Obviously requires effective detection of unlicensed drivers to be effective, but that should be solvable.
    Including some real consideration of cycling in the driving test in some way is a very good idea.

    You can't test (effectively) for attitude. People will do/say whatever is required to get that license. My suggestion was based on creating a context designed to develop peoples' attitudes in the right direction. It takes longer, but is ultimately more effective. It's not perfect - we all know how simply getting behind a wheel can shift one's value judgments - but it does at least get at the root of the problem rather than trying to fix the symptoms.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 4,977
    Murnau wrote:
    With the amount of drivers I've heard complaining about us not paying road tax (highlighted by Emma Way's thoughtless Tweet last year), I thought that was their main grievance with cyclists.
    Sadly it's just something ignorant motorists have cottoned onto to try to beat cyclists with. If we did pay 'road tax', they'd still find other things to ignorantly rant about (actually, they find enough things already), so it wouldn't change a thing, other than give the ignorant motorists a sense of victory over cyclists.
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