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Anti-Cycling Insurance Advert Fuels Two Tribes Mentality

By Principal Lawyer, Personal Injury

A taxi insurance advertisement which portrays an injured cyclist lying on top of his bike in front of a stationary black cab has been labelled inflammatory and discriminatory.

The Westminster insurance advertisement, which appeared in Taxi, the London Taxi Drivers Association’s member’s magazine last year, shows a man dressed as a barrister pointing at the downed cyclist, seemingly berating him for having caused the accident.

This ad is in extremely poor taste and only serves to fuel a “two tribes” mentality between cyclists and drivers. Cyclists and taxi drivers don’t often enjoy a good relationship on the roads and this ad just fuels the mentality of blame.

In the advertisement the cyclist on the ground has clearly been hit by the black cab. Yet both the driver and the man dressed as a barrister are pointing at him accusingly rather than asking if he is alright.

The advertisement recommends taxi drivers fit a camera to their cabs offering a “10% discount if you have a professionally fitted camera that meets our requirements.” The main slogan at the top of the ad reads: “A fitted camera in your taxi is like having a witness and a barrister permanently with you.”

There is no doubt that camera evidence is indeed helpful in establishing what actually happened in a cycling accident, information which can be invaluable in both criminal and civil courts that can be used to convict either party.

But there are obviously better ways of encouraging people to record evidence, besides using an advert that is as bias and inflammatory as this.

We need to change things culturally and shed this “them and us” mentality that sours relations between road users and reinforces this phoney war between two tribes. Rather than constantly feuding, road users should be showing each other mutual respect and working towards how we can simply share our roads more safely.

Cyclists and drivers are often one and the same with research consistently showing that the majority of regular adult cyclists are more likely to hold a driving license and live in a household with access to more than one car.

If you are injured whilst cycling and wish to make a cycling accident claim, the burden of proving fault on the part of a third party rests with you. As the claimant, there are a number of things you can do to maximise your prospects of pursuing a successful compensation claim.

Get the names and contact details of any witnesses as soon as possible and identify who caused the crash along with their insurance company details, the registration number and if possible, the colour, make and model of the vehicle involved.

If you can, get photographs of the road accident scene or even better, get CCTV footage of the incident and always report your cycling accident to police. This should be done as soon as possible and always within five days, particularly if your cycling compensation claim needs to be pursued against the Motor Insurer Bureau under the “Untraced Drivers Agreement”; along with a reference number and the name of the person you reported the accident to.

Paul Kitson is a keen cyclist and Senior Personal Injury Solicitor specialising in cycling accident claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

For a free consultation call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

We help cyclists injured in cycling accidents through no fault of their own to get compensation and rehabilitation support. Our Solicitors represent cyclists from across the UK including members of the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC); the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have secured £44 million in compensation for CTC Members injured in cycling accidents since 2002, recovering over £2,900,000 in compensation for CTC members in 2013 alone.

We offer home/hospital visits for people with severe injuries who cannot visit one of our offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Cardiff, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield, Derby, Cambridge or our meeting rooms in Hull, Yorkshire or in Bramhall, Cheshire.