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Are so-called “petrol heads” more conscientious drivers? Well, that’s the view of Mark Hodson, one of two officers who devised West Midland Police’s pioneering Operation Close Pass.

In a Twitter thread posted this morning, Hodson claimed that during his Close Pass initiative – which resulted in a 20% reduction in the number of cyclists killed or injured on forcibly patrolled roads – motorists who could be described as “car enthusiasts” were less likely to commit offences.

Hodson says these drivers were very proud of their cars and their level of driving, and had the experience of being vulnerable road users in their youth, whether on bicycles or mopeds, so they took more precautions when driving.

The officer then pointed out that motorists over the age of 50 were more likely to commit dangerous overtaking on cyclists, as they had not received any training since their driving test and had in most cases spent decades without being a vulnerable road user.

However, Hodson also claimed that in both cases the offenders represented the “oddler” in a sea of ​​safe and courteous drivers.

“In the driver set, you’ll find many people who are part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Hodson wrote.

He also observed that there were similarities between the “weird idiot in a nice car” and the “type of person who rides 5K bikes on weekends in the same way (there is one in every club )”.

Incidentally, this idea of ​​a mentality “crossover” between certain types of obsessive cyclists and drivers was pointed out in an opinion piece written for road.cc by a “reformed oilman” in November 2020.

However, while our blogger AJ agreed with Mark that “as with cycling there is always a subset of riders who are twats”, he crucially noted that “the difference is that a cyclist rarely kills anyone but themselves with their twattishness”.

Reaction to Hodson’s thread was also somewhat divided:

What do you think? Do motorists who are more proud of their car drive better? Or is there a correlation between high performance vehicles and dangerous driving?

Also, any ideas what a “mophead” might be?

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