Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lights out for Stephen Ladyman

Just prior to seeking refuge, from the stresses and strains of life in Thanet, I happened to hear, a report on the radio quoting Stephen Ladyman, which frankly pushed my tolerance of endangered Labour MPs to breaking-point, why you may ask? Well apparently transport minister Ladyman, is opposed to EU legislation to improve road safety, why?, because he thinks that legislation requiring motorists to switch their headlights on during the day will lead to greater risks to motorcyclists and could lead to more deaths.

According to the EU between 1200 and 2000 lives will be saved every year however Mr Ladyman opines that "Because motorcycles use daytime running lights, they have greater visibility than they would do if everyone used such lights.

Now I have yet to find connected, whether Mr Ladyman supplied any factual research to back up this claim, I would assume that the EU have researched this issue in some detail.

I just wonder whether, this recent opinion of Ladyman's is pandering, firstly to the macho culture of motorcyclists, who in my experience revel in tales of how fast they can travel just purely for fun (oblivious to increased risk to other road users), secondly, it seems that no politician, in this country, loses when criticising the EU (despite the fact that all the major political parties have representatives dipping their snouts into the Brussels trough).

Despite Ladyman, I for one will continue to drive with my headlights on, because I do not want a premature death, for the same reason I will never get on a motorcycle and in addition I like to give other road users a sporting chance!

It's easy for politicians to knock, EU legislation but along with the working time directive, this initiative to make drivers use their headlights (assuming they have working bulbs) saves lives, even on a clear sunny day in Italy (home to many a macho driver) where this law is enforced, even when this E-wit is about to step in the path traffic.

Finally if as Mr Ladyman contends, that using, headlights somehow endangers other road users then he ought to, produce evidence, otherwise his comments look like macho posturing, and populist EU bashing a favourite of many an MP with a slim majority.

PS I'm sure today, Mr Ladyman would find ideal conditions for his sort of driving, poor light, and several Thanetonians without the wit to put their headlights on. Fortunately for Mr Ladyman I live in a part of Thanet, where his name will not be likely to appear on a ballot paper.


  1. How does having head lights on in daytime prevent accidents? It is more difficult to estimate the speed of an approaching vehicle and as for motorbikes at least when they have headlights on in the daytime they are easier to spot whereas under present proposals they will merge into all the other lights and be more difficult to see. A further issue with having headlights on is it causes vehicles to use more energy and therefore more pollution. If you cannot see a car with headlights off in daytime you should not be driving. Better to introduce compulsory vision tests.

  2. Having your headlines on, gives you greater visibility, even in bright sunshine, when the sun is low on a motorway such as the M 2, it is often difficult to make out of vehicles in your mirror, assuming you're one of those traditionalists who A /uses a mirror and B/also bothers to indicate their intentions admittedly a rarity these days.

    The idea that motorcyclists derive any benefit, by cars being less visible seems utter nonsense to me.

    On a selfish a level, I would prefer to be one of the few who drive with their headlights on most of the time, as I am convinced it protects me, from idiots as well as offering, protecting other road users.

  3. pity our local transport minister cannot get us better roads

  4. As an ex motorcyclist (due to family) (Triumph Bonneville, a real bike, Harleys are for girls), I used to have my headlights on as I was fairly sure it caused me to be more visible. On a bike I was around 1/5th the width of a car. How can motorcycles not benefit from being more visible with their lights on and other road user's lights off? Surely that makes them more visible? The EC tried forcing motorbikes to have daytime lights and were beaten off by MAG. You advocate everyone being more visible by having their headlights on when all it will do will be to cause glare and more accidents from people not correctly judging approaching vehicle's speed. It will pump up pollution, wear out electric circuits. Personally it also makes my eyes tired from all the glare. (By the way, this rock you crashed into a few weeks back. I think I saw it the other day in a field and a big oil stain on the road too. I was going to Birchington. How did you miss that, it is massive, like a boulder! Was you driving at night with your lights off?

  5. I agree - Harleys are a car driver's idea of a motorcycle.

  6. As a once frequent push bike user I can tell you just how spooky it is when a sports car suddenly appears arround a coner doing a silent 90.

    If they had lights on at least I would have a clue that they were waiting to murder me a second or so sooner.

  7. I find that motorcycles with headlights on are a great help in my capacity of 'mobile chicane'. All cars have blind spots and a bike can arrive quite easily in that spot between mirror checks. Please motorcyclists.... put 'em on!
    As for compulsory headlights on for cars.... too silly really.We've all got used to the scandanavian cars and sidelights and can even understand the reasoning behind it in the lands of the midnight sun etc, but here?
    At least at the moment, if you see someone with their lights on in broad daylight you can give them a wide berth assuming that they don't know how to switch 'em off, in which case ,what else can't they do,...or worse, they might be grovelling about looking for the switch!!

  8. And don't get me started on the dolts who drive around in perfect visibilty with their fog lights on!

  9. My apologies maybe I should have been a bit more controversial, perhaps the question I should ask is why should motorcyclists be more visible than any other road user.

    Obviously many motorcyclists are thoroughly responsible people who used motorcycles as a form of transport, then there are, the not inconsiderable section of motorcyclists whose use of two wheeled vehicles, is purely for pleasure, derived mainly from travelling too fast and risking other road users.

    Admittedly increasing the visibility of any vehicle, has limited benefits, my own experience as a cyclist proves the point, on four consecutive weekends at the entrance into B&Q car-park, I had local Thanet F-wit motorists try to kill me, by failing to notice me as I cycled across the entrance of the car-park despite wearing a bright yellow raincoat and a high-visibility jacket which gave the overall appearance of a somewhat bloated luminous Banana.

    I believe in equality on our roads, and suggest that Mr Ladyman's stand will be loved by macho morons, and probably has little to do with any safety considerations.

  10. From Surrey Biker (OC)


    the main reason bikes have headlights on is so "spethal" people like you see us. which normally you dont, so while were bragging about our high speed you probably drinving along playing sat - nav roulette

    Cars rarely need their lights on during the day and if you cant see a car - perhaps its time for care... full time care.

  11. Talking of high speed to quote your legendary drving skills again.

    " Since Saturday I have not consumed one sausage roll, despite the convenience of being able to eat one at 90 miles an hour, on my way to work."

    On your blog. You twit.

    OC. +1

  12. You're a pleb, you're probably the type of cyclist who thinks that a bright yellow jacket means you dont have use lights or stop at red lights!! Get a life, get two wheel and an engine then you can respect the red stop lights and use your lights all the time you hippy!!

  13. why should motorcyclists be more visible than any other road user.

    The answer is they are not. You say you stand for equality on our roads, if this then is true you should be a supporter of motorbikes with lights on during daylight hours and cars with them off. This still wouldn't make cars and bikes equal but it would help.

  14. Seems your blog has reached other forums. Unfortunately for you they are mostly motorcycle sites, for as you so aptly put it "the macho culture of motorcyclists, who in my experience revel in tales of how fast they can travel just purely for fun". May I ask, to what vast experience do you have in the culture of motorcyclists? WSB rider? Hells Angel? Pizza delivery boy?

    Which brings me to your next educated statement "perhaps the question I should ask is why should motorcyclists be more visible than any other road user"
    Well now, let me see. Is it because we are on a vehicle approximately 1/4 the size of the average family saloon and when you are in that said saloon, with the heating on and the stereo blaring whilst no doubt chatting to someone on your mobile and of course chewing on your sausage roll! The only thing that snaps you out of that comfortable driving trance is that light on the front of our bikes?

    Or, is it that when you do pull out of a junction into our path having not noticed us. Our bodies, protected by approximately 3-5mm of animal hide, crumple around your steel framed,Side impact/Bull barred/Airbag filled box?

    Thats why we "bikers" need to be seen, moreso than cars!

    In my experience of you and your blogs, I have to say, Pizza delivery Boy i.e. The experience of having it delivered to your house!

    P.S. If you want to defend your clearly uneducated views, please feel free to visit our forum and we'll be more than happy to debate.

    ZX10BEN from

  15. You need to think your opinion through again!
    All vehicles having there lights on will definatly make bikes less visible and this can only be a bad thing!
    I think youll find motorcyclists are some of the most aware people on the roads as they have to be to due to their obvious lack off protection.
    Its people like you we need to be aware of who think just coz you've got your lights on everyone will see you and get out of your way, selfish, self rightous, uneducated car drivers are the most dangerous people on the road, and that is you!

  16. Is English your second language Mr White-Flaig?

    Do you take The Daily Mail regularly?

    Based on your half-arsed,ill thought out 'views' i'd have to guess yes.
    To both.


    Your ignorant and blinkered views have caught the eye of an audience who feel at risk from road-users such as yourself.
    Road-users with a God given right to do as they please and to Hell with the consequences.

    'I'm alright Jack,F**K you' - is this a mantra held dear by the residents of Margate in general or just your personal opinion based on your 'experience' and 'research'?

    By your own admission you're almost 50 - you're not a child mate yet you seem to be attempting to provoke a 'controversial' debate.
    Tell you what,leave it - you're not very good at it.

    Got a leg,had an R1.

  17. Typical of an arrogant fat non-biking tosser to have such an attitude towards bikes and biking. What's up mate, been stuck in too many traffic jams in your tin box? Dickhead.

  18. Hello Mr bignews
    Jaffa here GIXER1000.
    Just a little comment on the lights on at daytime,
    Have you ever pulled out on anyone before ? and i don't mean your boyfriend,
    We're talking road safety here and trying to reduce accidents where the car drivers first remark is i didn't see the bike !wtf,
    We need lights to be as visible as possible to other road users, we have as much rights on the roads as anybody else, we pay tax's remember,
    And the remark from you about many motorcyclists being thorughly responsible people and using a bike as a form of transport ! ! ! think that shows your visiting from another planet, None of us want knocked off by someone who's on their mobile, changing a CD, opening a kit kat, and screaming at the brats in the back to stop kicking the nack of their seat ! we just want to be seen !

  19. Aswell as being fat, you are thick, you know nothing about bike culture or the people that ride motorbikes, you have a norrowminded and totally blinkered view, I suggest that once in a while you pick up a book and try reading, start with "Run Chip Run" my 6 year old has just about mastered it now. Try dieting too, then you'll have more time to drive and look around you, instead of eating whilst driving, you irresponsable lardarse.

  20. A bright flourecsent helmet ... bright, in your face leathers, a high viz vest and a prayer to the big guy upstairs is my way of hoping i get home in one piece when out on the bike ... that and my headlight on!!

    If every car driver, truck driver and van driver had headlights on there would just be a sea of lights, drivers would become complacent once more, and the bikers would be even less visable!

    `Why should motorcylists be more visable than than any other road user` .... I shook my head with total disbelief at this comment .. that brain cell of yours must get very lonely all by itself!
    Could it possibly be because of a motorcyclists vunerabilty, could it be because when said `idiot` car driver has pulled out (using the "I didn`t see you excuse" as has happened to me) and we bounce over the bonnet .. that we will sustain greater injurys to our bodies than car/van drivers protected by their cage ?

    Good lord ..... and people like this have car licences .. !!

    Hotty !!

    Come over and see some of us bikers on the afore mentioned Superbike forum ... I`m sure they`d all play nicely wouldn`t ya boys and gals lol !!

    Go Mr Ladyman ... Its good to have some one fighting our corner !!

  21. from a lincolnshire biker (bc)

    all i can say is i agree totally with what has been previously said by my (macho) fellow bikers!

    yes we choose to be on bikes, does this mean that we have to accept that a car/van/4x4 driver will pull out on us and inevitably say "sorry mate.....i just didn't see you" ?

    i don't think so, as a female rider of 24 yrs old i have already died twice in one accident and sustained other serious injuries through a car driver thinking he had the right to do as he wanted on the road!

    why should i have to accept the fact that a car driver will probably kill me doing what i love when there's a very simple way of ensuring us bikers remain seen?

    i again extend the invitation to you that you come over to and discuss this topic with us bikers and actually discover the "other" side to the story!
    you may still remain of the opinion that you want every road user to have lights on duing the day, at least you will have discussed both views which can surely only strengthen any argument you have?
    if not and you go away realising that you were wrong in what you have said then there would be at least one less driver likely to kill us!

    Kate (bikerchick82)
    who rides all year round as my bike is my main form of transport but also remains a constant source of fun!

  22. What a moron,oi shemale get a grip

  23. i would just like to pass comment on what an absolute dipstick you are on your theorys on motorcycles,just how many of us and your narrow minded plum sucking pals killed threw your inept ignorance,we have lights on because we arent as big as cars,so you can see us you pillock,we have the same rights as anyone else on the road,while you sit in your cage listening to the archers,get a life and some spacial awareness,AND THINK BIKE,

    gixx from bedford

  24. What aload of complete and utter just aint got a clue m8 what its like trying to ride a bike on these roads,people try to knock you off all the time thats even with lights on...........i think that people should all take riding lessons as part of your driving licence so they see what its all about.......

  25. your story contradicts itself you fuckmook. Try writing another article when you have the intelligence to construct a semi decent argument.

    Team S.

  26. "Despite Ladyman, I for one will continue to drive with my headlights on, because I do not want a premature death, for the same reason I will never get on a motorcycle and in addition I like to give other road users a sporting chance!"

    I'm sorry, that made no sense. You say you like to give other road users a sporting chance? Are motorcyclists not other road users?

    Unless I'm mistaken, a car is much easier to spot from much further away even without it's lights on than a motorcycle.

    Maybe it's just too many sausage rolls that are restricting the blood flow to your eyes.

    Riders have enough challenges to face (diesel/armco/irresponsible drivers) even without your McDonalds-fuelled bullshit.

    My suggestion is for you to take your motorcycle test. Find out how many people pull out on you then, and we'll see if your views are the same.

    "why should motorcyclists be more visible than any other road user?"

    Dear jesus. I sincerely hope one of your children (if you're not impotent of course) gets a motorcycle.

    Would your views still be the same?

    Think before you open that stupid fat trap of yours next time.

    Alex from Bristol.


  27. arsehole

    orangestorm suffolk

  28. dear mr ladyman as a responsible bike owner and a member of a very good bike forum .It is possible as you can see you have stirred up a hornets nest of feelings . This forum has a lot of good people on it from all walks of life and in the last year we have lost and had injured members in accidents where they just werent seen by cars!!!! So u must undersatnd why before you go rolling of at the mouth about somethig you obviously dont know about they are reacting as they do. As in previous posts we would be happy to discuss and provide information ie diesel spills that have caused accidents . reckless driving that has caused accidents and general stupidity by drivers of cars. We are not saying we are perfect in anyway just think we are entitled to a opinion but must say yours is complete shite yours cat .cat978

  29. So you would like to condemn every motorcyclist out there?
    I'm a 24 year old girl, I ride a big macho sportsbike, and take my life in my hands everytime i get on it. not beacuse its a fast powerful machine, but because of myopic CAR drivers who dont look for me. 80% of RTA's involving a motorbike are caused by car drivers. having our headlights on when most others do not is one of the very few ways we have of getting others to see us. My own view is part of UK driving licence should contain the CBT bike training for all car tests.

    Oh and finally YOU ARE A TW*T (just showing my macho biker side)

  30. oi, your comments are out of order ya fuckin fat cunt, at the end of the day you take cock up your arse on a daily basis but we dont go on about it, and i cant turn me lights off on me k5 1000 as they are permanently on. so fook off numb nuts and get back to shaggin your mp buddies.........TWAT

    chip - sbf

  31. If you really want to give other road users a chance mate, go do a CBT (compulsory basic motorcycle training) and you'll soon understand why motorcyclist should be able to be seen better than cars. Not only that but it will make you more aware of other road users and you won't need to give them a fighting chance as you will have already observed them with your newly tuned skills.

    If you had any form of common sense you wouldn't have even considered your argument as a viable one.

    As for your skills as a journalist, well you have no integrity as you definately haven't researched your material before publishing this BLAG, sorry Blog.

    You definately follow the school of thought of many of our National newpapers that sensationalsim is the only true form of journalism and that truth and facts are probably something that may happen dependant upon your point of view on the matter your writing about.

    Let me give you an example.
    Whilst riding to work the other day I had the unpleasant misfortune of having to help a fellow biker off the road. Damage to the bike was terminal, to the rider it was a broken toe. This rider was a learner who was simply going to work whilst a car in front of him stopped in the middle of the wet road to allow another car driver to cross into a junction. Now this rider could have come off even worse had the following rider not had the awareness and skill to avoid him, pull over and help him to his feet. "Must have been a big, hairy macho biker type" I hear you say. Well unfortunately for you no it wasn't, it was a lovely female rider who wasn't very tall, no tattos nor visible piercings and not unattractive either.

    Now I put it to you, had the car driver made proper observations before changing the speed of her vehicle she would have noticed that there were approximately 15 cars and a few bikes behind her and she may have re-considered her course of action and therefore avoided what had happened.

    I suppose now you will say it was because it was a female driver that there shouldn't be any women driver allowed either.

    Now all I can do is suggest you follow some advice from here and come and see it from our point of view.

    So get your dick out of your hand and do something to regain your credibility as a journalist and not a sensationalist.

    Go on you know your better than that.............or are you?

    ps. You dont' have to go to the SUPERBIKE forum at, I'm sure that any of the motorcycling forums would welcome you with open arms for a healthy debate.

    We don't all eat roadkill and screw our sisters. Some of us work during the week so it can only be a weekend hobby.

  32. basicly if you cant see a car on the road then having there headlights on isnt gonna make any difference you should not be driving cause your bloody blind but i you see a single headlight you know there is a big on the road you might otherwise have missed

  33. It seems that you have a bad infection of trollistus. The trolls (or more likely troll) condition is inflamed by adressing them directly (also called feeding the trolls). I recomend disemvowelling the offender for the ammusment of the rest of us.

  34. If bikers want to do something to stop accidents then might I suggest that you stop weaving in and out and overtaking at dangerous times.

    Every single bloody day on my way to work I see bikers thinking they are above driving in an orderly line like the rest of road users. Just stop for a moment and think of the car driver who could potentially kill you without being at fault. They have to live with that the rest of their lives. Twats.

  35. hi tony well what can i say you seem to have stirred up a nest off bees with your half arsed comments about bikers. hope to see you at work on Monday. mind you Monday a long way off a lot can happen between now and then. never mind i hear margate has an excellent hospital. lets hope you haven't slag off any doctors or nurses on here. gotta go and get my bike ready for the weekend you know check the oil and LIGHTS.