Cyclists say most motorists justify their aggression on the fact that cyclists don’t pay road tax.
But, there is no such thing, according to the DVLA, who says people should call it vehicle tax (the Post Office already call it car tax).
Road Tax was actually abolished in 1937 and replaced by Vehicle Excise Duty – that means the tax is on cars not the roads themselves.
Calling it ‘road tax’ implies that drivers have more right to road space than pedestrians, horse-riders and cyclists.
The BBC reported a road confrontation recorded by helmet-camera. A cyclist accuses a driver of almost hitting him. The driver says: “Do you pay road tax?” And in a separate incident, a driver says: “No pay, no say”.
Any driver who has been cut up by a cyclist or watched one jump a red light might want cars to have formal priority on the road.
But some cyclists, like journalist Carlton Reid, are so angry that they want the phrase banned. He set up a website, ipayroadtax.com, to persuade officials to banish it.
“It’s dangerous if motorists think that because they pay car tax they have an entitlement to the road,” he says. “A small minority of drivers seem to think it gives them the right to drive badly.
“Language is very powerful. If we can persuade all official bodies to use the term car tax then maybe in a generation or two Mondeo Man will have stopped calling it road tax.”