Essex Police forced to remove Facebook post saying filtering is "dangerous"

It is worrying when authorities express anti-motorcycling sentiment, especially on social media, like Essex Police did on Facebook...

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The Motorcycle Action Group was successful in having removed a social media post from Essex Police that stated that traffic filtering is dangerous.

Filtering is something which is very specific to bikers when it comes to using the road. Obviously, cars cannot fit between traffic lanes, but a two-wheeler can with relative ease. 

However, because it is something which is specific to bikes, it is something which car drivers either do not know about, do not understand, or think is illegal. Of course, filtering is perfectly legal for bikers, but the danger in it comes from car driver who do not expect a filtering motorcycle to come up behind them. 

Ultimately, though, as long as the rider of the motorcycle or other two-wheeler is approaching the situation correctly, filtering can be perfectly safe.

However, in the Facebook which has been a trigger point for larger emphasis on filtering from an activism point of view from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) said: “Filtering is dangerous, don’t do it.”

MAG says that it’s worry is that posts such as the one made by Essex Police “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.”

“Nobody doubts for a second the genuineness of Essex Police’s intentions,” wrote MAG National Chairman Neil Liversidge in a letter to Ben-Julian Harrington QPM, Chief Constable at Essex Police, “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.””

Liversidge’s letter was written to Essex Police in request that they remove the offending Facebook post. This was a request that was accepted by Essex Police, and the post was indeed removed. 

MAG itself has also developed a safe filtering campaign in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police, which you can check out here.

Ten Things No Motorcyclist Should EVER Do | Motorcycle Dos & Don'ts!

Ten Things No Motorcyclist Should EVER Do | Motorcycle Dos & Don'ts!