The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has asked Essex Police to amend their advice to motorcyclists not to filter through traffic, branding it dangerous and counterproductive to road safety.
MAG’s activist network picked up the offending post on the Essex police Facebook page where it was drawing a large volume of complaints from bikers. Within a matter of hours, MAG asked Essex Police to amend their advice with MAG National Chairman, Neil Liversidge, writing directly to Essex Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington QPM.
“Nobody doubts for a second the genuineness of Essex Police’s intentions, but this is bad advice and needs changing immediately. There is a certain type of car driver – and all of us who ride motorcycles have encountered them – that hate motorcyclists and are envious of our ability to make progress through traffic jams while they sit and stew. These are the people who see us coming in their mirrors and reposition their cars to block us. For the police to say, “it’s dangerous, don’t do it,” runs the risk that the ‘haters’ will feel justified in their behaviour and after they have knocked us off, will point to the police advice and say, “It’s your fault – the police have warned you.”
The advice also risks poisoning the minds of magistrates, Judges, and potential jurors who might, in the future, sit on cases where a car driver has knocked off a filtering biker. It may even lead to bias amongst police officers themselves, and CPS prosecutors.
MAG’s ‘Filter Friendly’ campaign https://www.mag-uk.org/filter-friendly/ has been developed in conjunction with officers in Northamptonshire Police who assisted us in making the video and support the campaign. We have been particularly grateful for the support of Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, and NPCC lead for motorcycling, for his enthusiasm and assistance. Hopefully, Essex can talk to Northants.”
Main photo by Charlotte Harrison on Unsplash