In the middle of a Dail debate about tax dodging motorists on Wednesday, TD Finian McGrath had a good old rant about ‘many’ cyclists being lawbreaking and, meanwhile, the picture is rosy for motorists — he says they are contributing to the economy.
While we don’t like lawbreaking cyclists, they do little harm compared to lawbreaking motorists who kill and injury themself and others on a large scale. Attacking cyclists without any context of what other road users do is normal, but in this case McGrath paints motorists as tax paying saints.
However, McGrath does not seem to understand that, when health costs and the cost of congestion is included, motorists cost the state more than they pay in taxes. Most cyclists are also motorists — the current system has these cyclists paying motor tax for cars sitting at home (doing far less damage to roads, the environment and human health than people who always or mostly drive).
…Given the substantial contribution motorists make to the State coffers, it gets up my nose that we are not listened to in the broader debate on how money is spent and the quality of road infrastructure, services and so forth.
It also gets up my nose when I encounter the anti-motorist attitude that prevails among a section of the cycling population.
Many, although not all, cyclists speed around Dublin, jump lights, cycle up one-way streets and clip the wing mirrors of cars caught in traffic jams. I regularly refer to these individuals as “Speedy Gonzales” types who arrogantly believe they are cool, clean heroes in contrast to motorists who are polluting the country. They should know that we motorists contribute €1 billion in motor tax to the economy and we also have certain rights. We should be listened to and taken seriously.