What the heck are Essex Police playing at?

News from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG)

MAG asks Essex Police to promote Filter Friendly campaign

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.

Neil stated:

“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.”

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A “Filter Friendly” campaign is a terrific idea. I’ve just looked at the above video, and although it’s an appreciable attempt, it could be, and probably should be, a lot better. Having a video showing some cars refusing to make space for a motorcycle to filter, and then showing cars purposefully making some space for them to filter and the benefits to the traffic, would be better. If car drivers can see the benefit they get from motorcycles filtering, then surely they are more likely to take an active role in that.

Also, showing that filtering should be done between the correct lanes of traffic, and why, would benefit the motorcyclists too.

I thought I saw on Twitter that they’ve withdrawn that campaign.

Tricky not to sound like bashing, umm, the idea, message, content, commitment and effort are laudable but that video is pish

I’m sorry guys but most of you appear to have missed the point. Filtering is a legal activity but what Essex Police are doing is to brand it as dangerous. Yeah, like turning right, exiting a minor road onto a major, riding in an urban environment, are all dangerous IF NOT DONE CORRECTLY.
By saying filtering is dangerous this can lead to restrictions on carrying out this perfectly legal manoeuvre with huge consequences for the attractiveness of motorcycling on today’s roads.
Well done MAG for taking this up, let’s hope other organisations such as BMF, IAM and RoSPA throw their weight behind it.

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I remember Alvin Stardust and the Green Cross Code from my childhood. I cant remember the first part of this, the production is utter shite, someone needs to take it on and fix it

Very worrying. A friend of mine who works for a law firm who are biker friendly has repeatedly pointed out that filtering responsibly is perfectly legal and has been tested in court many times.
Hopefully Essex Constabulary will see the error of their ways.

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