When I say the reaction from motorists, what is actually meant is the reaction of the RAC foundation, a spin-off from the RAC (and also a registered charity, which is interesting).
What Julian Huppert says is eminently sensible and not outrageous.
What a spokesman for the RAC foundation said was
“The reality is there are reckless elements among all groups of road users.
“He is right to say tough action needs to be taken against offenders, but wrong to seek to establish a hierarchy of the supposed righteous.”
Of course there are reckless elements among all road users. But cyclists and pedestrians who are reckless don't have 1 tonne of vehicle in their control at the time. Surely even the most cursory consideration would draw the conclusion that reckless elements that pose a much greater risk to life and limb should possibly be treated with more rigour?
And the righteous comments are really starting to grate. Am I suddenly righteous on my cycle, but meek and humble when I do the same journey in my car?
The hierarchy that needs to be established is not of the "righteous" but of the vulnerability of road-user. Putting a higher duty of care based upon the potential hurt that can be caused seems very sensible. But road lobby groups will fight every inch of the way to preserve the status-quo.
I am going to email Julian Huppert. We need more people like him, and we need them not to be discouraged by the efforts of the powerful road lobby.