Wednesday 27 January 2010

BBC News continues to promote car supremacist values

Two simultaneous examples of flat earth news in the past 12 hours, which consist of nothing more than vested-interest press releases uncritically regurgitated by the car supremacists who control and disseminate BBC news. Firstly, today, the national ‘top story’ revelation:

Major roads 'not meeting top safety rating'

Only half of the motorways in England reach the top safety rating, with other major roads much worse, a report says.

The Road Safety Foundation - the UK arm of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), the sister organisation of EuroNCAP which measures car safety - inspected virtually all of the 7,000km (4349.5 miles) of motorways and major A roads in England.

There are ten deaths a year on Britain's motorways caused by motorists hitting trees.

The Road Safety Foundation, EuroRAP and EuroNCAP are overlapping road lobby organisations with a commercial interest in road building and the manufacture of fast cars. You’d never know that from BBC News, which misleads its audience into thinking that they are impartial organisations. In fact they represent such scientific bodies as Toyota, Mercedes Benz and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Nor does BBC News bother to reflect on WHY those drivers hit trees. The problem isn’t the tree, or the absence of a barrier around that tree (building crash barriers around every tree alongside every main road in Britain is a classically lunatic road lobby demand), the problem is reckless driving. Drivers who ‘lose control’ and hit trees are almost always travelling at dangerous and inappropriate speeds, or are tired, or are drunk. The problem is first and foremost the driver, and secondly the driver’s access to a death machine capable of speeds well in excess of 70 mph.

Instead of that hard truth, the road lobby peddles this fantasy:

Responsible, law-abiding drivers frequently die on Europe's roads because they unexpectedly face a momentary situation with which they cannot cope. Drivers might also experience a brief lapse in concentration, but they should not pay for this with their lives.

Yes, it’s shocking innit – you can actually lose your own life while steering with one hand and texting with the other. And it’s all the fault of that tree, and the government’s scandalous failure to put a crash barrier round it.

The so-called ‘Road Safety Foundation’ has no interest at all in seeing speed cameras on motorways, or in the fitting of black box data recorders in cars, or mandatory speed governors in cars, or in the manufacture of cars which can go no faster than the maximum speed limit of 70 mph. But you’d never know that from BBC News, which is nothing more than the servant of the road lobby.

The second example of flat earth news:

The main story on BBC London News last night and this morning consists of nothing more than a regurgitated press release from “Parking campaigner Barrie Segal”, whose every press release BBC News takes very, very seriously.

It was essentially a non-story. For news which repeatedly constructs drivers as victims while regarding the regular killing of London cyclists by lorries as not newsworthy, BBC London News is in a realm of its own. It has simply blanked out the killing of every single London cyclist by a lorry driver during 2008 and 2009, and needless to say the BBC didn’t bother to send a reporter to the inquest into the killing of Eilidh Cairns.

This latest BBC non-story includes a free advertising link to Segal’s business. Segal boasts of his popularity with the media, and his appearances include:

• BBC TV's Breakfast News
• BBC TV's BBC London News
• BBC TV's News 24
• BBC TV's Real Story
• BBC TV's Now You're Talking
• BBC3 TV News.
• The Today Programme on Radio 4
• BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in
• BBC Radio Newcastle
• BBC West Midlands
• BBC Three Counties
• BBC Radio Berkshire
• BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
• BBC Herefordshire
• BBC Radio Kent
• BBC Radio Bristol

The BBC is an organisation totally in the hands of car supremacists, stuffed full of overpaid journalists who live in a bubble world and assume that “we” all drive cars, and “we” all clock up numerous speeding and parking tickets.

If you feel like complaining, the person to email is the head of BBC news, Helen Boaden:

Amazingly, there are some cycling organisations which regard the BBC as cycling-friendly.